KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose would have been proud to see that the country has become strong and was following his footsteps from the Line of Control (LoC) to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Bose would have also been proud that the government he dreamt of was fighting a pandemic with vaccines developed by it, and gave a befitting reply whenever its sovereignty was challenged, Modi said on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji, being celebrated by the Centre as Parakram Diwas. “I sometimes wonder how Netaji would have felt if he had seen how a new and strong India is taking shape,” he said at a programme held in the Victoria Memorial Hall here.

“Netaji had dreamt of a strong India, from LAC to LOC. We are following his footsteps. Whenever our sovereignty was challenged, we have given a befitting reply.” At the event, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to deliver her speech as some people in the audience started shouting “Jai Shri Ram” when it was her turn to address the crowd. This is not a political programme. I think there should be some dignity in a government programme,” the chief minister said, adding that as a protest she will not speak on the occasion. Banerjee said it was not right to invite someone and then insult them.