Banerjee said he may not support Gandhi's comment that led to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha following a court order, but he condemns the way it was done
TMC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee speaks during a protest rally of Trinamool Youth Congress and TMC Chhatra Parishad over Union government’s alleged discriminatory attitude against West Bengal, at Shahid Minar maidan in Kolkata, on March 29, 2023. PTI Photo
Senior Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Wednesday said if Rahul Gandhi can be disqualified for his comments about a community, then why similar action cannot be taken against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for hurting the sentiment of women by his taunts against Mamata Banerjee.
Addressing a rally at Shahid Minar Grounds here, the Trinamool Congress national general secretary asked the party's legal cell to file a case against the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, seeking his disqualification from the House for allegedly insulting a woman minister from the tribal community.
Banerjee said he may not support Gandhi's comment that led to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha following a court order, but he condemns the way it was done.
"Why will the PM not be disqualified for hurting the sentiment of women by mocking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with his 'Didi O Didi' taunts during the 2021 assembly polls campaign? We demand that action be taken in that case too," he said.
The Diamond Harbour MP, who is also the nephew of party supremo Mamata Banerjee, asked his party leaders to file a case against Suvendu Adhikari for hurting the sentiments of the Scheduled Tribe community in the state.
"Why will no action be taken against Adhikari for hurting the sentiment of the ST community for saying that minister Birbaha Hansda's place was beneath his shoe? Does this not tantamount to insulting the STs? He, too, must be disqualified as an MLA," he said.
Banerjee referred to a viral video clip in which Adhikari was purportedly heard last year telling a group of people, "(TMC MLA) Debnath Hansda and Birbaha Hansda are kids. Their place is beneath my shoe."
PTI, however, could not verify the authenticity of the video clip. Birbaha Hansda had filed a police complaint against Adhikari.
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Lashing out at the BJP-led Union government for allegedly misusing the central agencies, the TMC leader said efforts are underway to malign the ruling party in West Bengal.
"Today, we are here to protest against the Centre's step-motherly attitude towards West Bengal. If the dues of the state are not cleared, I will stage a protest in New Delhi and fight for our rights. The Centre owes lakhs of crores of rupees to the state. You can't scare me with the threat of ED and CBI. You can lodge as many as you want," he added.
Banerjee has been questioned by the ED in connection with a coal smuggling case.
Referring to several corruption cases that have plagued the TMC government, Banerjee said if it is proved that some wrong has been committed, the law must take its own course.
"But this pick-and-choose politics must stop. If you are a BJP member, you are above the law, but if you are from the TMC, you will be harassed and arrested. The law should not be different for the BJP," he said.
Banerjee said the TMC did not think twice before taking action against its senior Leader Partha Chatterjee when his alleged involvement in the teacher recruitment scam came out in the open last year.
"Don't hesitate to call yourself a TMC leader; rather, feel proud about it. Because it is the TMC, which has taken action against its senior Leader Partha Chatterjee within a week," he said.
Reacting to Banerjee's accusations, BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh asked the TMC to move court if its any allegations against the saffron camp.
"The allegations against the BJP are baseless. There is nothing wrong in calling a thief by his or her name," Ghosh said.
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