West Bengal Chief Minister on Tuesday unveiled a new bust of Bengal icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in Kolkata, almost a month after it was smashed to bits during clashes between the ruling Trinamool and the BJP in the violent run-up to the national election.
The Chief Minister marched down to the Vidyasagar College with the new bust in an open jeep and installed it where it was. A large number of celebrities, poets and writers joined Mamata Banerjee in the march.
The damage to the bust, during clashes that broke out at BJP president Amit Shah's roadshow on May 14, was at the core of a huge political battle just before the last day of voting in Bengal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a rally two days later that he would build a grand statue of Vidyasagar made of "panch-dhatu" but Mamata Banerjee said Bengal would build its own.
The name of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, a 19th-century reformer who fought for widow remarriage and gave Bengal its alphabet, has sentimental value for the people of the state. Every child in Bengal, they say, grows up with stories of Vidyasagar.