A day after facing strong criticism from the opposition as well as from his own party, West Bengal Minister and TMC leader Akhil Giri on Saturday apologized for his statement against the President of India Droupadi Murmu.
Akhil Giri made the objectionable remarks against the President of India on Friday while talking about West Bengal opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari following an incident of unrest in the BJP leader’s Nandigram constituency over the Martyrs’ Day event.
“He (Suvendu Adhikari) says I am not good-looking. How beautiful you are! We don’t judge anyone by their appearance, we respect the office of the President of India. But how does our President look?” Giri had said while hitting out at Suvendu Adhikari.
A video of the same also went viral on social media on Friday. In his apology on Saturday, Giri said that he was sorry and regretful about what he said, and still respects the Constitution and the post of the President of India.
“I said, President. Didn’t take anyone’s name. If the President of India feels insulted about it, then I am sorry and regret what I said,” the TMC leader said in a statement. Giri said that he does not regret BJP’s reaction to his remarks.
“I don’t regret how BJP will react to this. I am not concerned about BJP. My reaction was for Suvendu Adhikari,” he claimed.
“I am also part of the Constitution. I have taken an oath and become a minister. He (Suvendu Adhikari) insulted me and said that I look like a crow. He called me a half-pant minister. This is also an insult to me. Calling me half-pant minister is insulting the whole minister panel,” he said.
Several leaders from the BJP as well as from the TMC criticized Akhil Giri for his remarks. The BJP’s West Bengal unit leaders alleged that the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government was ‘Anti-Tribal’.
BJP Union minister of tribal affairs on Saturday also condemned Giri’s remarks and said that Mamata Banerjee should sack the minister for disrespecting the President of India.
“They (TMC) cannot digest the fact that a tribal woman is now the President of India. BJP strongly condemns this. We will make sure he (TMC leader Akhil Giri) gets busted,” the Union Minister said.
BJP MP Saumitra Khan also wrote to the National Commission of Women (NCW) and demanded the immediate arrest of Akhil Giri.
“Giri’s comment against the President of India Droupadi Murmu was an insult. “This issue is not only related to women’s respect; it also reflects their thinking. And this type of thinking cannot be left in society because it is harmful to society as well as the country. I request the commission to immediately arrest Akhil Giri for this heinous act and take appropriate action against him,” Khan said in his letter.