The BJP on Saturday condemned West Bengal minister Akhil Giri’s derogatory comments on President Droupadi Murmu’s looks and sought his dismissal from the state government.
Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda also demanded that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tender a public apology for Giri’s comments and clarify that at whose behest he made such ”unfortunate” and ”indecent” remarks.
Munda, a tribal leader like Murmu, said Giri had insulted the country and claimed that his statement exposed the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress which has been ”exploiting” the tribal population.
He has hurt the sentiments of over 10 crore tribals and dented the country’s democratic values, Munda told reporters here, and said such controversial comments spread disharmony in the society.
In a 17-second video clip, Giri was heard commenting on the looks of the President and mocking the BJP.
”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, the minister of state for Correctional Homes, was heard saying at a rally in a village in Nandigram late on Friday evening.
After his remarks drew widespread criticism, he apologised.
Addressing a press conference, BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said if a minister who has taken a pledge to preserve the ethos of the Constitution makes such a derogatory remark, then he must be sacked.
”Mamata Banerjee should lead by example and expel such a leader from her party (TMC),” Bhatia said.
He said Giri’s comments against Murmu, a woman as well as a scheduled tribe holding the highest Constitutional post of the country, has hurt the feelings of every Indian.
Through his ”indecent” comments, Giri has polluted and lowered the standards of politics in the country, Bhatia said.
West Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar said Giri’s remark reflected the ”anti-tribal” mindset of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). ”President Droupadi Murmu hails from the tribal community. Akhil Giri made objectionable comments against the country’s president. These comments reflect the anti-tribal mindset of the TMC party,” Majumdar said.
Amit Malviya, in-charge of BJP’s National Information and Technology Department, co-in-charge West Bengal said in a tweet, ”Akhil Giri, minister in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet, insults the President, says, We don’t care about looks. But how does your President look? Mamata Banerjee has always been anti-Tribals, didn’t support President Murmu for the office and now this. Shameful level of discourse.”