The Trinamool Congress on Monday filed a police complaint against newly-appointed Bharatiya Janata Party National Secretary Anupam Hazra for his comment that he will hug West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee if he gets infected with the coronavirus, PTI reported.
The complaint against Hazra was filed by Trinamool Congress’s Refugee Cell at the Siliguri police station in Darjeeling, according to NDTV. The party accused Hazra of making insulting remarks against the head of a state and sough action against him for maligning a woman public figure.
“We have lodged a police complaint against Anupam Hazra,” an unidentified Trinamool Congress leader told PTI. “We have urged the police to take immediate action against him.”
Hazra had made the remark at a public event in Baruipur in South 24 Parganas district on Sunday evening, while criticising Banerjee for the way she was handling the health crisis.
“Our workers are fighting a bigger enemy than corona,” he had said. “They are fighting Mamata Banerjee. When they [BJP cadres] have been able to fight it out against Mamata Banerjee without a mask, they think they can also fight against Covid-19 without wearing a mask. I have decided that if I get infected by the coronavirus, then I will go and hug Mamata Banerjee.”
The BJP office-bearer had also accused Banerjee’s government of handling the bodies of coronavirus patients in an insensitive manner. “She [Banerjee] treated the victims of the disease pathetically,” Hazra had added. “Their bodies were burnt with kerosene. Sons were not allowed to see the face of their parents who died of Covid-19. We don’t even treat dead cats or dogs like that.”
Senior Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy referred to Hazra comment as “insane”. “Such words and statements can only come from BJP leaders,” he said. “This reflects the mindset of the party. We condemn such insane statements.”
Hazra, meanwhile, said that even Banerjee had made derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “If one FIR [first information report] has been filed against me, then at least 10 FIRs should be lodged against TMC leaders,” he said.
The BJP, on the other hand, distanced itself from Hazra’s remark. “Those in positions of responsibility must be careful about what they speak,” the party’s Vice-President Mukul Roy was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The saffron party has in the past too accused Banerjee’s government of mismanaging the coronavirus crisis and not revealing the correct numbers. The state has reported over 2.4 lakh cases, including 4,781 deaths so far.