Bhubaneswar: Major political parties in President Droupadi Murmu’s home state Odisha Saturday came down heavily against West Bengal minister Akhil Giri and demanded stringent action against him for his derogatory comments against her.
At least five FIRs were filed in different places of Odisha against Giri demanding strong action against him.
Political parties lodged an FIR at Baripada, the district headquarter town of Mayurbhanj district from where Murmu hails, besides at Talsari in Balasore district, Sundargarh and Nayagarh. The BJP Tribal Morcha too filed an FIR at the Capital police station here.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, took the opportunity to hit out against TMC supremo and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is a strident critic of the saffron party, for the comment and said she should resign.
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The TMC minister had reportedly commented on Murmu’s looks during a public rally at Nandigram in West Bengal.
Congress leader Suresh Routray said the party will not allow Giri to enter Odisha for his remark against the daughter of the soil and the ruling BJD demanded stringent action against anyone who made “objectionable” remarks against the president.
Droupadi’s two-day maiden visit to Odisha after assuming the country’s highest office ended on Friday.
Pradhan took to the Twitter to criticise Giri and tagged Banerjee. He said, “If a member of your party insults the first citizen of the country and a woman while continuing to be in your cabinet, then you should resign as chief minister. Akhil Giri holding a minister’s post is an insult to all women in the country.” He said in video message that Giri has insulted the first citizen of the country with a feudal mindset. A few days ago Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury did the same.
”Any amount of condemnation of West Bengal’s jail department minister and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s most trusted Giri Ji’s remark will be less. There is no place for racism or gender bias in democracy. If Mamata Banerjee has little morality left or little faith in democracy, then she should immediately sack him and apologise to the nation … I expect that Mamata Banerjee, being a representative of women, takes action,” he added.
Chowdhury, who is the Congress leader in Lok Sabha, had come under fire in July for referring to President Murmu as ‘rashtrapatni’.
Strongly condemning the Bengal minister, BJD Rajya Sabha MP Munna Khan said “It is highly unfortunate that someone comments on the country’s first citizen and that too over her looks. She is the daughter of Odisha. She has reached the country’s top Constitutional post after a long struggle”. Congress leader and senior MLA Suresh Routray said all the citizens of the country and Odisha were ”severely hurt” by the remark.
“She (Murmu) was an MLA and a minister in Odisha and a governor of Jharkhand. She is educated and I know her sincerity and honesty. Making derogatory remarks against the country’s president is really unfortunate.” Continuing his tirade, Routray said ”What is wrong in her (Murmu’s) looks? Is West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of fair complexion?”
Keeping up his attack of the Bengal minister, the Congress leader said, ” Our presiding deity Lord Jagannath is also black. We will not allow Giri to enter Odisha for making such a remark against daughter of the soil. He should also be arrested. If Giri comes to comes to Odisha we will make him bathe in cow dung.”
Kusum Tete, BJP woman tribal MLA said “The Bengal chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) is also a woman. How does she tolerate such persons in her council of ministers? I request the West Bengal Chief Minister to suspend a minister like Giri.”
The BJP Mahila Morcha burnt an effigy of Giri here and at Nayagarh for his comment and demanded stern action. Giri, the West Bengal minister for correctional homes on Saturday drew widespread criticism for making the controversial remarks on the president at arally at Nandigram on Friday evening.
He apologised for his remark after a video clip of his comments went viral.
In a 17-second video clip, the authenticity of which PTI could not verify independently, Giri was heard commenting on the ”looks of the President”.
Later in a video statement, Giri said he regretted making such a remark resulting from an outburst of anger following continuous attacks aimed at him.