Kolkata, Jan 17 (Agencies): West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Monday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare January 23, birthday of Subhas Chandra Bose, as 'Desh Prem Divas'.

In a letter to Singh, Bhattacharjee wrote, "The spirit of patriotism of which Bose is the symbol is all the more relevant on Monday in our country when divisive forces are trying to raise their heads in different corners to challenge national integration."

Noting that Netaji's contribution to India's freedom movement needs no elaboration, Bhattacharjee said, "You will agree that the spirit of patriotism and sacrifice of Bose for the country should be spread throughout India."

The chief minister said that his government has decided to observe January 23 as Desh Prem Divas in the state.