Agitating villagers of Kamduni found an unlikely ally in an outspoken Trinamool Congress MLA Sikha Mitra who criticised chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her intolerance and stood by the housewives who were labelled as Maoists.
“The chief minister is in a better position to say who those women were. But to me they never looked like Maoists but ordinary village housewives. I salute the villagers who are protesting against the atrocities on women,” said Mitra, who is also the wife of Trinamool MP Somen Mitra.
“In my opinion any person sitting in her (chief minister’s) chair should be more responsible. There is nothing wrong in making mistakes. We all do that. But one should have the patience of listening to people and hearing criticism,” said Mitra.
Mitra said that rising crimes against women in the state is a cause for concern. “Bengal is leading in the cases of atrocities against women. The role of police is not what is expected from them. The common people and women are at the receiving end. However, I am happy that villagers, women and intellectuals have now taken to the streets in protest,” said Mitra. Mitra also said that the chief minister should be careful about what she says in public rallies. “The chair holds immense importance. She must think before saying things. One must remember that her words have great implications at the grassroots level,” said Mitra.
This is, however, not the first time that Mitra has defied her party chief. Earlier, she had criticised the chief minister and was involved in a verbal duel with senior party leaders. She had complained that a section of Trinamool Congress is not letting her work in her constituency at Chowringhee and is even conspiring against her.