Kolkata(PTI): Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday welcomed West Bengal government’s decision to declassify Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s files.
“I welcome the decision of the West Bengal government to declassify the Netaji files. I hope one day the mystery of disappearance of Netaji will come out in the open,” Union Urban Development Minister told PTI on the sidelines of a workshop on smart cities in Kolkata. The Parliamentary Affairs minister said it is relatively easier for the state to declassify the Netaji files as states did not have to maintain international relations.
“The government of India has to deal with different nations. I do not know what are the actual problems that may arise if the files are declassified by the Centre,” he said. In February this year, the Narendra Modi government in reply to an RTI plea had refused to disclose records related to Netaji’s alleged death 70 years ago, saying there was a larger public interest involved in making them public.
Toeing the line of the previous UPA government, the PMO had cited an exemption clause in the RTI Act which allows withholding of information that could prejudicially affect relations with a foreign country. The PMO, however, did not give the names of the countries with which the relations may get affected once the said information is made public.
However, the issue was being examined by the government at present, Naidu said. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday had announced that 64 files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose lying with the state’s Home Department would be declassified and put in public domain from next Friday.