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‘Have you looked at her face’: TMC Minister makes derogatory remarks about President Murmu, shamelessly tries to defend it later

President Murmu hails from a Scheduled Tribe (ST) community from Odisha. Born in a family of Santhal tribes in northern Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, in a nondescript village, she is India’s first President from the tribal community.

On Friday (November 11), Trinamool Congress leader Akhil Giri courted controversy after taking potshots at the facial appearance of President Draupadi Murmu.

The TMC Minister for Correctional Administration made the misogynist remarks during a public address in Nandigram town in Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal.

In a video that went viral on social media, he was heard as saying, “He (Suvendu Adhikari) claimed that I don’t look good. How beautiful is Suvendu? We don’t judge people by their appearance. We respect the office of the President (Draupadi Murmu). But have you looked at her face?”

President Murmu hails from a Scheduled Tribe (ST) community from Odisha. Born in a family of Santhal tribes in northern Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, in a nondescript village, she is India’s first President from the tribal community.

Comments by Akhil Giri draw ire

His remarks drew the wrath of Opposition leaders, including the BJP (Nandigram) MLA Suvendu Adhikari. “MLAs have sought an urgent appointment to meet Governor La. Ganesan regarding the sacking of Minister Akhil Giri,” Adhikari tweeted.

The BJP leader also shared a copy of his letter, dated November 12, and emphasised that the TMC legislator had lost the moral authority to continue occupying the post of a Minister.

While speaking to the media, BJP Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “The more you condemn it, the less it is. If Mamata Banerjee has little morality left or little faith in democracy, then she should immediately sack him & apologize to the nation.”

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also questioned the “unacceptable” remarks of TMC Minister Akhil Giri against President Draupadi Murmu. “People are protesting against this in Odisha and are demanding the resignation of the TMC minister for his comment on the President,” he informed.

Even Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader did not hold back and condemned the comments of Giri. “Hon’ble President is the shining example of our Nation’s rich culture, tradition & values. Mr.Akhil Giri should unconditionally apologise & be sacked,” he tweeted.

Akhil Giri defends his remarks under the garb of an apology

After coming under the line of fire, the TMC legislator tried to rationalise his remarks in the name of an apology. “I respect President. I mentioned the post&made a comparison to respond to Suvendu Adhikari, I didn’t take any name,” Giri said.

“He had said Akhil Giri looks bad in his appearance. I’m a min,took oath to office. If something is said against me, it’s an insult to Constitution. I said ‘President’, I didn’t take anyone’s name,” he continued.

“I said ‘President’, I didn’t take anyone’s name,” Akhil Giri said.

Trinamool Congress goes in a damage-control mode

Following outrage by netizens and from political quarters, the Trinamool Congress was forced to issue a clarification and ‘condemn’ the remarks of its party leader.

In a tweet, it said, “We have the utmost respect for Hon’ble President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu. Our party strongly condemns the unfortunate remarks made by MLA Akhil Giri and clarifies that we do not endorse such statements.”

“In the era of women’s empowerment, such misogyny is unacceptable,” the tweet further added. The archived version of the tweet can be accessed here. Despite mouthing platitudes, the Trinamool Congress failed to take any action against Akhil Giri.

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OpIndia Staff
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