Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the West Bengal government’s ‘Biswa Bangla’ brand was the state’s pride and claimed a “political vendetta” was behind the controversy surrounding it. Speaking in the Assembly, she said the people of West Bengal would not forgive those insulting the state government promoted brand for handicrafts and other products. Slamming the opposition, the West Bengal chief minister said, “Do they have any idea about ‘Biswa Bangla’? It’s not a crime that I created this brand. ‘Biswa Bangla’ is my dream, our dream”. “You cannot sell dreams. There is no question of taking money,” she said. Banerjee said she had created the logo for the brand. “I cannot think that I will create a logo and take money for it. It’s my creativity; some may like it or may not like it. I am ready to face any criticism,” she said.
The brand was dragged into a controversy recently after former TMC leader Mukul Roy, now with the BJP, said it was not a government entity but a company owned by Banerjee’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee. Stating that she had created the logo while travelling in a car and coined the name ‘Biswa Bangla’, Banerjee said she had given it to the government of West Bengal without taking any royalty under an agreement that it could not be sold to anybody. “I had secured the future of the logo. The West Bengal government can use the logo and if some day it does not want to use it, the logo will come back to me,” she said.
She said the ‘Biswa Bangla’ brand was Bengal’s honour and pride but some people were raising questions about it for “some unknown reason and political vendetta”. The ‘Biswa Bangla’ brand was launched on September 16, 2013, and its first showroom was opened at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport on February 25, 2014. The chief minister said she had received accolades from Bangladesh regarding the ‘Biswa Bangla’ brand and an invitation from Dhaka to be a part of an international literary festival in January for an exchange of ideas. She said the logic behind coming up with the Biswa Bangla University in Bolpur was to help more students.