Kolkata, April 21: A section of Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose’s descendants Monday approached the Election Commission, accusing Bose’s grandnephew and Trinamool Congress candidate Sugata Bose of taking “undue advantage” of his family name for his Lok Sabha election campaigns.
In a letter to chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta, “Open Platform for Netaji” convenor Chandra Kumar Bose has complained that a child dressed in the Indian National Army’s uniform has been accompanying the Trinamool candidates’s rallies.
Sugata, a Harvard professor, is fighting from the Jadavpur constituency.
“This contravenes the fundamental thrust of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child which calls for protection of children in all circumstances and at all times.
“India is a party to this international convention and therefore legally bound by its provisions. Sugata is subjecting a child to potential risks by parading him in military uniform in an election environment which tends to be volatile and at times prone to outbreaks of violence,” Chandra Kumar stated in his letter.
“Sugata Bose may be seeking to take undue advantage vis-a-vis his election rivals by attempting to project his family connection to Netaji by using a child in military (INA) uniform and by borrowing Netaji’s words and using them in his own election campaign completely out of context,” he said.
This contravention is “compounded if the child concerned is meant to represent a soldier of the Indian National Army (INA), the revolutionary army led by Subhas Bose”.
The platform said such representation is “objectionable” in the context of current political party campaigns for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
“We firmly believe that Netaji and his INA men and women are an integral part of India’s glorious legends and under no circumstance should be used for purposes of narrow party politics,” he said.
In addition, Netaji’s clarion call ‘Chalo Delhi’ to oust the British Raj from India is also being “inappropriately used” by Bose to describe his party’s ambition to capture power in Delhi and from the central government, he said.
“This is trivialising the valiant battle fought by INA where many hundreds of soldiers laid down their lives for freedom,” he said.
Gupta said the poll panel is scrutinising the complaint and is considering the matter from angle of model code of conduct violation.
“We will talk to the concerned department of the state government also,” he said.