Kolkata: A fresh political row has erupted in West Bengal over BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh’s alleged unsavoury remarks about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is now seeking the arrest of Dilip Ghosh and his unconditional apology. A TMC delegation, during the day, met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at Raj Bhavan. It urged him to condemn the remarks made against Mamata Banerjee.
During a session of a programme, Ghosh had allegedly made derogatory remarks about Banerjee’s family. He did so while referring to the TMC supremo’s ‘Bangla nijer Meye ke chai’ (Daughter of Bengal) campaign during Bengal Assembly polls and her subsequent visit to Goa, where she claimed to have felt affinity towards the coastal state.
Under fire over the comments, Ghosh later clarified that he was trying to lay bare TMC’s ‘politics of opportunism’.
“She is saying one thing in Bengal and something completely different in another part of the country. I am not withdrawing my comments and neither do I regret making them. The TMC has now complained about it to the governor, the same person they abuse regularly. This is political opportunism,” Ghosh said.
The state BJP leadership, on its part, insisted that it was not in favour of personal attacks, which is the ‘hallmark of the TMC’. However, it also said if anyone was hurt by any comment of Ghosh, it was ‘unintended’.
Led by West Bengal minister Bratya Basu and TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar the TMC delegation met the governor. After the meeting the TMC leaders said they requested Raj Bhavan occupant to ensure strict punishment for Ghosh
“We have requested the governor to condemn the remarks. On various occasions, we have seen him actively calling out remarks of others. We hope that on this occasion, too, he will do the same. Steps must be taken to ensure strictest punishment for the BJP leader,” Ghosh Dastidar said. She claimed that the governor promised to look into the matter.
Dhankhar, later in the day, tweeted that the delegation was given assurance the matter would be taken up for consideration.
“Delegation @AITCofficial sought intervention at remarks made against Hon’ble CM was assured of consideration. Indicated to delegation concerns at worrisome Constitutional transgressions, insensitive stance towards human rights and need for working in tandem for public good,” Dhankar wrote.
The ruling party of Bengal further sought legal action against Ghosh. “We want Dilip Ghosh to be arrested immediately. Such remarks have no place in a civilised society,” TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said.
Expressing shock over the utterances of the former state BJP president at the conclave, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee had Wednesday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Outrageous. PM @narendramodi, it is about time to get this loose tongue arrested! Is this how @BJP4India leaders talk about the only sitting woman Chief Minister of the nation?” Abhishek tweeted.
The saffron party said that its national vice-president did not intend to launch a personal attack on the chief minister.
BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya was asked to comment on the developments. “The BJP has never made any personal attack on any individual, this is not the culture of BJP. It is the TMC that had made objectionable comments against our national president, the home minister and prime minister,” Bhattacharya said.
“What we understand is that Ghosh gave indications about the inconsistent political stance of the TMC supremo all through her political career, and her opportunistic politics. He did not intend to attack her personally. If the TMC and Banerjee are hurt, however, we can say that it was unintended,” Bhattacharya added.