West Bengal Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee today condemned and apologized for her minister’s comments on President Droupadi Murmu. She said it was not in her party’s culture to make personal comments, adding that the MLA had been cautioned about his comments and her party had also apologized.
“We respect the President very much. She is a very sweet woman, I apologize for the comments,” Ms. Banerjee said, adding that “Akhil (Giri) did something wrong; I condemn the comments and apologize.
“Beauty isn’t about how you look, it’s about how you are on the inside,” she added.
West Bengal BJP-MLAs marched to the Raj Bhavan this afternoon to protest Trinamool Minister Akhil Giri’s heinous remarks about the Indian President. The BJP MLAs were heard singing songs and were led by opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari.
Speaking to reporters, Suvendu Adhikari said: “Even 72 hours after his remarks, the prime minister has not recommended the governor’s dismissal, and she has not even asked him to resign. We emailed the governor on Saturday. We have come to rest the Raj Bhavan with a demand. This is not an appeal. There is enough leeway in the constitution for him to advise the chief minister to dismiss the minister whether he is in Delhi, Imphal or Chennai. How he does it is his business.”
“We wrote this. We didn’t come to the Raj Bhavan to have tea with his secretary. Our message needs to get through to the governor and that’s why we came here to say so,” he added.
After the video clip of his comments went viral, Mr Giri apologized for such a remark.
In a 17-second video clip, Mr Giri could be heard commenting on the “president’s looks”.
“They (BJP) said I didn’t look good. We don’t judge anyone by their looks. We respect the office of President (of India). But what does our President look like?” Mr Giri, the Minister of State for Corrections, was heard speaking at a rally in a village in Nandigram late Friday night.
The party called the comments “irresponsible” and “misogyny” and had distanced itself from Mr Giri’s comments.
“We have the utmost respect for the Honorable President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu. Our party strongly condemns MLA Akhil Giri’s unfortunate statements and makes it clear that we do not support such statements. In the age of women’s empowerment, such misogyny is unacceptable,” the party tweeted.
Trinamool also pointed to several instances of BJP leaders engaging in personal attacks on TMC leaders, notably Tribal MLA and Minister Birbaha Hansda. The TMC hit out at Suvendu Adhikari, saying: “Beating down on women and the ST community is a given for @SuvenduWB. He has used the most unparliamentary language for MLA @Birbaha_Hansda who is a daughter of the soil, a proud Adivasi. Every sermon on respect for women by @BJP4India leaders is a cruel joke.