Amid a huge uproar, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday apologised to President Droupadi Murmu for TMC minister Akhil Giri’s objectionable remark aimed at insulting her tribal identity.
Speaking at a press meet at her office in Kolkata, the Trinamool supremo said that she holds immense respect for President Murmu and warned Giri over his uncouth behaviour.
“I have warned Akhil Giri. We have immense respect for the President of India. Akhil has been warned by the party. Akhil’s comment was not correct at all. Akhil has done wrong,” she said.
Referring to Giri’s ‘how does she look like’ remark, Banerjee said, “Beauty is never defined by how a person looks but it is defined by how the person is from inside.”
A video of Giri, minister of state, correctional administration (independent charge), giving a speech in Nandigram went viral, in which he made reference to the appearance of the President of India.
“We have respect for the office of the President, but how does our President look?” Giri apparently said.
The Trinamool Congress of Didi, as CM Banerjee is fondly called, has already distanced itself from Giri’s comment. “Our party strongly condemns the unfortunate remarks made by MLA Akhil Giri and clarifies that we do not endorse such statements. In the era of women’s empowerment, such misogyny is unacceptable,” the party had said.
Meanwhile, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took its protest to the Raj Bhavan, seeking action against the minister. Led by Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, state party leaders met Governor La Ganesan in Kolkata on Monday.
The BJP has lodged multiple complaints across West Bengal. It has demanded the immediate resignation of the state minister.
In a letter to the National Commission for Women, BJP MP Saumitra Khan said Giri’s “heinous act” should not be forgiven.
“Insult of Respected President is the insult of women empowerment, insult of Indian democratic system and it is also insult of 140 crore people,” he wrote.
After lodging a complaint in Kolkata, BJP’s Locket Chatterjee said that Giri’s comment has “outraged the modesty of a woman”.