New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the state always fights for humanity, unity and integrity and does not bow down to anyone on these issues, news agency PTI reported.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 28th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Thursday, the chief minister said Bengal has a long history of struggle.
“Bengal has been fighting for unity, humanity, diversity and integrity. This struggle will go on,” she said, adding, “Our state does not bow down to anybody, nor does it beg.”
Notably, the West Bengal government has repeatedly urged the Centre to release funds to clear dues for GST as well the MNGREA and CM Mamata Banerjee had also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a few occasions to discuss the issue.
READ | ‘Even Now Questions Being Raised On Freedom Of Expression’: Amitabh Bachchan At Kolkata Film Fest
During her speech, the chief minister also demanded Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan be honoured with the Bharat Ratna for his immense contribution to Indian and world cinema.
“Although not officially, but from Bengal, we will raise this demand to honour Amitabh Bacchan with the Bharat Ratna award for his contribution to Indian cinema for such a long time. As a human being, he is also great” Mamata Banerjee said.
Referring to Amitabh Bachchan raising the issue of freedom of expression in cinemas, Banerjee said, “Amitabh Bachchan has come and elaborately said what no one of us can say. Even now, and I’m sure my colleagues on stage would agree questions are being raised on civil liberties and freedom of expression.”
Actors Jaya Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee, cricketer Sourav Ganguly, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, singers Kumar Sanu and Arijit Singh and actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha were also among those present during the inauguration.