Kolkata: Supporters of the BJP on Sunday took out rallies in several parts of West Bengal to protest state minister Akhil Giri’s controversial remarks on President Droupadi Murmu.
Besides Kolkata, demonstrations seeking action against the minister of state for correctional homes were organised in the districts of Paschim Bardhaman, Malda and Bankura.
At Khatra in Bankura, state minister Jyotsna Mandi faced protests as her car was stopped by the agitators, raising slogans against Giri.
Mandi, the minister of state for food and supplies, later said, “I don’t support his (Giri’s) remarks and the statement made by him is personal.”
BJP parliamentarian Locket Chatterjee, meanwhile, has filed a complaint against Giri at a police station in Delhi, and demanded that he be removed as minister.
In a purported video clip, Giri was heard commenting on the looks of the President during a party workers’ meeting in Nandigram on Friday.
“They (BJP) said that I am not good-looking. We don’t judge anyone by their appearance. We respect the office of the President. But how does our President look?” Giri was heard saying.
Later, the minister apologised and said that he did not mean to disrespect the President.
“I was replying to what the BJP leaders said while verbally attacking me,” he had said.
The BJP, however, lashed out at the Trinamool Congress and Giri and said that his remark reflected the “anti-tribal” mindset of the Mamata Banerjee-led party.
The BJP Mahila Morcha burnt effigies of Giri for his comment.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also condemned the comments, and said that no one has the right to make such remarks on the President.
The TMC, in a tweet, later said that the leadership in no way endorsed such a remark.
“We have the utmost respect for Hon’ble President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu. Our party strongly condemns the unfortunate remarks made by @AkhilGiriAITC and clarifies that we do not condone such statements. In the era of women’s empowerment, such misogyny is unacceptable,” the AITC tweeted.
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