Trinamool Congress leader Akhil Giri apologised on Saturday after a video of him making objectionable remarks about President Droupadi Murmu went viral on social media.
Giri, a minister in the West Bengal Cabinet, was criticised widely for his comments at a gathering in West Bengal’s Nandigram.
“We don’t judge anyone by their appearance, we respect the office of the president...But how does our president look?” Giri was heard saying in the video.
In his apology on Saturday, Giri said that he respects the Constitution and the post of the president.
“For the last few months, Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Suvendu Adhikari has been making derogatory remarks about me which had made me angry,” Giri said in a video statement. “Whatever I said at the event in Nandigram, was out of anger. But I have deepest respect for the president of India and I apologise for my comments.”
Several leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party have criticised Giri and the Trinamool Congress over the remarks.
BJP’s West Bengal unit President Sukanta Majumdar alleged that the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool government was anti-tribal.
“CM Mamata Banerjee has always been Anti Tribal,” Majumdar wrote in a tweet. “Her minister Akhil Giri took it further and insulted the president on her look. Why she and her govt hate tribals so much?”
Meanwhile, BJP MP Soumitra Khan has written to the National Commission of Women, demanding action against Giri.
Giri’s remarks about the president were an insult to the citizens of the country and its democratic system, Khan wrote in the letter.
“Therefore you are requested to immediately arrest Akhil Giri for this heinous act and take appropriate action against him,” the BJP MP said. “And dismiss him from the MLA post also because society doesn’t want this kind of mindset.”