Nandigram: TMC minister makes objectionable remarks against President Droupadi Murmu
Trinamool Congress's (TMC) West Bengal minister Akhil Giri has come under severe criticism following his comment on India's President Droupadi Murmu's look. A short video clip witnessing the comment was recorded at Nandigram on Friday as the minister was addressing a gathering. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has cornered the minister and his party over the comment while Giri apologized for the remark.
Why does this story matter?
- The President of India is a top constitutional authority in the country with a primary duty to "preserve, protect, and defend the constitution."
- BJP has brought in President Murmu's (tribal) caste to corner TMC, as the tribal community constitutes over 5% population of Bengal.
- Earlier, Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Udit Raj faced backlash for their comments on the President.
What exactly did Giri say about President Murmu?
The remark as per Giri was a reaction to BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari's comment regarding his looks. "They (BJP) said that I am not good-looking. We don't judge anyone by their appearance. We respect the office of the President (of India). But how does our President look?" Giri was heard saying in the video clip.
Giri's comment brings in the President's caste
Over Giri's comment, BJP leaders have been accusing TMC and its chief Mamata Banerjee of keeping an "anti-tribal mindset" as the President belongs to the community. BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya said, "Banerjee has always been anti-tribals, didn't support President Murmu for the office and now this. Shameful level of discourse." Bengal BJP unit too called TMC and its leaders "anti-tribal."
The 17-second long video clip of the event
#WATCH | "We don't judge anyone by their appearance, we respect the office of the President (of India). But how does our President look?," says West Bengal Minister and TMC leader Akhil Giri in Nandigram (11.11.2022) pic.twitter.com/UcGKbGqc7p— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2022
TMC distances, Giri issues clarification
TMC spokesperson has called the comment "irresponsible" and said it "does not represent the views of the party." "We are extremely proud of the President of India and hold her and her office in the highest regard," the spokesperson said. Giri apologized for the comment and issued a clarification, saying that he "never intended to malign the image of the President."
Giri issues clarification, seeks action against Adhikari
I respect President. I mentioned the postmade a comparison to respond to Suvendu Adhikari,I didn't take any name. He had said Akhil Giri looks bad in his appearance. I'm a min,took oath to office. If something is said against me, it's an insult to Constitution: WB Min Akhil Giri pic.twitter.com/9w1oY2BuZA— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2022
BJP writes to NCW seeking Giri's arrest
BJP MP Saumitra Khan has meanwhile written to the National Commission for Women (NCW), requesting them to "immediately arrest Akhil Giri and take appropriate action against him." Khan has also asked for his removal from MLA post over the comment. Meanwhile, BJP's Bengal unit has called for a protest on Saturday amid calls for Giri's resignation.
Contents of the letter that Khan shot to NCW
This heinous act by Akhil Giri is not be forgiven in any situation. Insult of Respected President is the insult of Women empowerment,insult of Indian Democratic system It is insult of 140 Crores people.— Saumitra khan (@KhanSaumitra) November 12, 2022
You can imagine where these mindset will lead, our society? @sharmarekha pic.twitter.com/cIwfvhGAAf