Tuesday, November 29, 2022

BJP stages walkout in WB Assembly over Giri’s comment on Prez

BJP MLAs Monday staged a walkout from West Bengal Assembly demanding immediate resignation of Minister of State for Correctional Homes Akhil Giri from the cabinet and disqualification from the House for his controversial comments on President Droupadi Murmu.
They staged the walk out after Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay rejected their demand for an adjournment motion to discuss Giri’s recent controversial remarks on Murmu. Bandopadhyay had said that the matter cannot be discussed in the House as the matter pertained to the president of the country and the reported comment was made outside it. When the House assembled for the day, 60 BJP MLAs, including Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, who were present demanded that the motion be taken up. However, this was turned down by the speaker.
Amidst the protests by BJP, ministers Birbaha Hansda, Chandrima Bhattacharya and other TMC women MLAs shouted slogans against BJP accusing the party of showing scant respect to women, tribals and minorities.
When the sitting for the first half ended, the BJP lawmakers trooped out shouted slogans like ‘Akhil Giri Hai Hai’ and ‘Dhikkar Dhikkar’ (Shame shame) and waved photos of the president.
When the House reassembled post lunch at 1 pm, the BJP legislators were again on their feet and made the same demand. With the speaker nor changing his stance the saffron MLAs then staged a walkout.
Adhikari told reporters in the assembly premises, “We demand Giri be sacked immediately and disqualified as MLA for his disparaging comments against a woman, the constitutional head of the country and a tribal. We will continue our protests till our demands are accepted.” To a question he said the BJP will take part in the house proceedings on Tuesday but its protests against Giri will continue.
BJP chief whip Manoj Tigga said “We are also protesting against unfair comments made by Giri against me at a meeting recently and want exemplary action against this man.”
Shortly after the BJP walkout, TMC chief whip Nirmal Ghosh said on the floor of the House “Despite the CM (Mamata Banerjee) and the party already denouncing the comments of Giri in public, the BJP unfortunately wants to disrupt proceedings of the House as it does not want the issues faced by the people to be discussed in it. We condemn this behaviour.”
He said action should be taken against Adhikari for his abusive comments against TMC tribal woman MLA and minister Birbaha Hansda.
To this the speaker said that as he did not allow discussion on Giri’s comments as it was uttered outside the House, so would be the case when anyone else did so. No comments made by either side would be recorded, he said and adjourned the house till Tuesday 11 am.
Giri was present in the House during the pandemonium but did not join his party colleagues when they countered the BJP protest.
Later West Bengal Industries Minister Sashi Panja told PTI in the lobby that BJP always believes in disruptive politics. “Today everyone saw how they created a commotion in the house. They are trying to flag an issue which has already been commented upon by the CM and party (TMC).”
Before the adjournment, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Amendment Bill 2022) was passed by voice vote by ruling party members.
Giri was heard commenting on the looks of President Droupadi Murmu at a party meeting in Nandigram on November 11, which sparked off a furore, including in the ruling Trinamool Congress. After the video clip of his comments went viral, Giri apologised for his remark.
Authenticity of the 17-second video clip could not be verified independently by PTI.
“We have the utmost respect for Hon’ble President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu. Our party strongly condemns the unfortunate remarks made by MLA @AkhilGiriAITC and clarifies that we do not condone such statements. In the era of women’s empowerment such misogyny is unacceptable” TMC said in a tweet on November 12.
The Bengal BJP took out rally in the city during the day to press its demand for Giri’s removal as minister and his arrest.

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