A video of a Tripura minister allegedly touching a woman colleague inappropriately on stage in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday has gone viral on social media. The Left Front demanded on Monday that Manoj Kanti Deb be sacked “for touching a woman in an indecent manner” during a rally in Agartala on Saturday, IANS reported.
However, the woman dismissed the allegations, saying Deb was only trying to get ahead of her to get a better view of the prime minister. “There is no ill motive involved,” she told The Indian Express on Tuesday. “There are certain people in the Opposition who are trying to politicise it by blowing it out of proportion.”
Modi visited Tripura on Saturday to inaugurate a statue of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur at MBB Airport. Later in the day, he addressed a rally at Swami Vivekanand Maidan, where he inaugurated two projects.
“Manoj Kanti Deb must be sacked and be arrested for touching the woman minister in an extremely indecent manner on the stage from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and others addressed the public gathering,” Left Front convener Bijan Dhar said on Monday.
Dhar said Manoj Kanti Deb was seen in the video putting his hand around the woman’s waist. “The male minister has publicly harmed the modesty, sanctity and dignity of the woman at a public platform where the prime minister, chief minister, and other important dignitaries were present.”
He claimed that there has been an increase in the number of women raped, kidnapped and murdered since the Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power in the state.
BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee, however, claimed that the Left Front has “started character assassination of BJP ministers on false and non-issue matters”. “The woman has never made any statement and complaint on the issue raised by the Left parties,” he said. “Why are the Left parties doing this dirty politics?”
Manoj Kanti Deb told IANS that he did not wish to comment on the incident.