Sudip: TMC to decide steps on Giri; Tribals block road, stop minister\'s car in WB
KOLKATA: Buckling under pressure from the tribal community and BJP, West Bengal's ruling Trinamul Congress swung into a damage control mode on Sunday and asserted that the party would take a call on steps against it's MLA-cum-minister Akhil Giri for his controversy remarks about President Draupadi Murmu's looks.
TMC leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay said, "The personality in the President's office is respected by all. She holds the number one position in the Indian Constitution. So it is not correct to make such remarks about her. Mr Giri should not have made those comments. Our party will decide internally whether he would be suspended or punished or made to apologize to the President. It does not depend on any individual announcement or decision."
His assertion came after members of the tribal communities blocked road in Bankura, a district in the Jangalmahal, in the morning to protest Mr Giri's derogatory comments on Ms Murmu and stopped TMC minister Jyotsna Mandi's car, forcing her to get down.
Incidentally chief minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to visit Jhargram, another Jangalmahal district with thick tribal population, on the occasion of the birth anniversary celebration of the iconic freedom fighter of the community, Birsa Munda, this week.
Mr Bandopadhyay's statement also appears to be a damage control bid as the BJP has jumped to erode the tribal vote bank of the TMC alleging "insult" to the community ahead of the Panchayat Election in the state next year and threatened to drag Mr Giri to court.
State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said, "When Ms Murmu became the Presidential candidate, the TMC made clear that they did not want her to be in that position. So they did not support her. Mr Giri is a repeated offender. If the CM was sensitive, she should have sacked him from her cabinet immediately."
He added, "Unfortunately the CM is not sensitive. She still allows a person, who insults a member of the tribal community, to continue as the minister of state for correctional administration. This is the mindset of the TMC. We are exploring opportunities to take legal steps against such leaders. Some cases have been filed at the Calcutta High Court already."