Trinamool Congress minister Akhil Giri has come under sharp criticism after a video of him making derogatory remarks against president Droupadi Murmu during a public rally in Nandigram went viral on social media.
In the 17-second video clip, shared widely on social media, the West Bengal minister was heard mocking the “looks of the President.”
“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 the rally in a village in Nandigram late on Friday evening.
The BJP’s Bengal unit shared the video on Twitter and called Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party “anti-tribal”. Murmu hails from the Tribal community.
The saffron party claimed that state’s Women Welfare minister Shashi Panka was also present at the event.
“President Droupadi Murmu, hails from the Tribal community. Akhil Giri, TMC Minister of Correctional Homes made objectionable comments about her in the presence of Shashi Panja, another minister from the women’s welfare department Mamata Banerjee and TMC are anti-tribal,” the BJP Bengal unit said in a tweet.
BJP’s Amit Malviya also hit out at the TMC minister over his remark terming it a “shameful level of discourse”.
“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…,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Saumitra Khan wrote to National Commission for Women (NCW), requesting them to “immediately arrest” Giri and “try to dismiss him from the MLA post also” over his objectionable remark on Murmu.
Following immense backlash, Giri apologised for making such a remark. “I didn’t mean to disrespect the Honourable President. I was replying to what BJP leaders said while verbally attacking me. I apologise for making such a remark. I have immense respect for the President of our country,” he said.