Days after TMC minister Akhil Giri’s questionable remarks on President Droupadi Murmu’s looks stirred up a political row in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday apologised and came down heavily on her cabinet minister. The TMC supremo said that Giri has already been cautioned, stating that the party has apologised and it was not the TMC’s culture to pass personal remarks.
“We have a lot of respect for the President. She is a very sweet and a respectable woman and I apologise for the remarks that were made…Akhil has said a wrong thing. I condemn his remarks…He has been asked to refrain from making any such statements in the future,” Banerjee said, adding that beauty should not be judged by how one looks but how a person is from inside.
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On Monday afternoon, BJP legislators, led by Bengal assembly Leader of Opposition Suendu Adhikari headed towards Raj Bhavan, protesting against Fisheries minister Akhil Giri’s remark on President Murmu.
“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 was heard saying at a rally in Nandigram, Adhikari’s constituency.
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After Giri’s remarks on President Murmu’s looks went viral, the minister tendered an apology. The opposition BJP asked for Giri’s resignation and called the ruling party ‘anti-tribal.’ In a state where Banerjee has been increasingly trying to woo the significant tribal voter-base in the past couple of years, the TMC has distanced itself from Giri’s remarks.
Taking to Twitter, TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale wrote, “This is an irresponsible comment & does NOT represent the views of @AITCofficial. We are extremely proud of the President of India & hold her & her office in the highest regard.”