BJP leader says will hug Mamata Banerjee if infected with Covid, complaint filed


Indian Express

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BJP leader says will hug Mamata Banerjee if infected with Covid, complaint filed

"Such words and statements can only come from BJP leaders. This reflects the mindset of the party. We condemn such insane statements," TMC leader Saugato Roy said.

The Trinamool Congress has registered a complaint against newly-appointed BJP national secretary Anupam Hazra, who said that he would hug West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee if he is infected with Covid-19.

The complaint was filed by the ruling party’s Siliguri unit after Hazra made the comments at a party programme in South 24 Parganas on Sunday evening.

“Our workers are fighting a bigger enemy than corona. They are fighting Mamata Banerjee. When they (BJP cadres) have been able to fight it out against Mamata Banerjee without a mask, they think they can also fight against Covid-19 without wearing a mask,” Hazra was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

“I have decided that if I get infected with the coronavirus, then I will go and hug Mamata Banerjee,” he added.

Hazra, a former TMC MP who joined the BJP last year, also hit out at the chief minister over the manner in which the bodies of Covid-19 patients were being cremated in the state.

“She (Banerjee) treated victims of the disease pathetically. Their bodies were burnt with kerosene. Sons were not allowed to see the face of their parents who died of COVID-19. We don’t even treat dead cats or dogs like that,” he said.

Senior TMC leader Saugato Roy condemned the remarks and said it only reflected the mindset of the saffron party.

“Such words and statements can only come from BJP leaders. This reflects the mindset of the party. We condemn such insane statements,” he said.

The Trinamool Congress’s Siliguri unit also held a rally against the BJP leader.

“We have lodged a police complaint against Anupam Hazra. We have urged the police to take immediate action against him,” a senior TMC leader from the north Bengal city was quoted as saying by the news agency.

Reacting to the police complaint, Hazra pointed out that the chief minister too had made several controversial remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past.

“If my comments are demeaning, then Mamata Banerjee too had made such comments against the prime minister. Secondly, if one FIR has been filed against me, then at least 10 FIRs should be lodged against TMC leaders,” he said.

The state BJP leadership, however, distanced itself from the BJP leader’s remark.

“We don’t support such comments. We should avoid making such remarks,” a state BJP leader said.

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