A video of West Bengal minister Akhil Giri commenting on President Draupodi Murmu's while addressing a crowd in Nandigram has drawn severe flak from the BJP. Giri managed to contradict his own statements as his speech largely stated that Trinamool does not judge people by their looks.
Akhil Giri was taking on opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari following an incident of unrest in Adhikari's Nandigram constituency over the Martyrs' Day event. Issuing a threat to Adhikari, Akhil Giri dragged President Droupadi Murmu without naming her as he said Trinamool does not judge people by their looks. "He says I am not good-looking. How beautiful he is! We don't judge people by their looks. We respect the chair of your President. How does your Rashtrapati look?" Akhil Giri said.
Calling the comments "irresponsible", the party distanced itself from Giri's remarks. "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," read the tweet by TMC spokesperson Saket Gokhale.
The BJP claimed when he made those comments, the women welfare department minister of Mamata Banerjee's cabinet Shashi Panka was also there. While sharing the video on social media, the state BJP accused Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool of being anti-tribal.
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— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) November 11, 2022
Mamata Banerjee and TMC are anti-tribal. pic.twitter.com/vJNiZ7nBLM
BJP's Amit Malviya also tweeted that Mamata has always been anti-tribal.
Akhil Giri, minister in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet, insults the President, says, “We don't care about looks. But how does your President look?"— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) November 11, 2022
Mamata Banerjee has always been anti-Tribals, didn’t support President Murmu for the office and now this. Shameful level of discourse… pic.twitter.com/DwixV4I9Iw
BJP MP Saumitra Khan also wrote to the National Commission for Women, requesting them to “immediately arrest” Akhil Giri and take appropriate action against him.
This heinous act by Akhil Giri is not be forgiven in any situation. Insult of Respected President is the insult of Women empowerment,insult of Indian Democratic system & It is insult of 140 Crores people.— Saumitra khan (@KhanSaumitra) November 12, 2022
You can imagine where these mindset will lead, our society? @sharmarekhapic.twitter.com/cIwfvhGAAf
Responding to the criticism, Akhil Giri said he did not take any name and he respects the President. “I mentioned the post and made a comparison to respond to Suvendu Adhikari. I didn't take any name. He had said Akhil Giri looks bad. I am a minister and took an oath to office. If something is said against me, it's an insult to Constitution,” Giri said.
Earlier, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury created a row after calling Droupadi Murmu 'Rashtrapatni'. Congress's Udit Raj too invited trouble as he accused the President of 'sycophancy'. Both the leaders later apologised for their remarks.