Continuing his tirade against the United States, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Sunday described it as a "violator" of human rights and said that he supported China's "food, clothing, shelter" model of human rights.
"The US is very vocal about human rights. But it is violating human rights in many parts of the world, like Iraq and Lebanon," Bhattacharjee said at a function organised by the West Bengal Human Rights Commission to commemorate World Human Rights Day.
At a public rally of his party CPI (M) earlier this year, Bhattacharjee had said that US president George W Bush was the "biggest terrorist" of the world because he had attacked Iraq. This prompted US Ambassador David Mulford to write a letter of protest to the chief minister.
The US understood human rights as the right of the individual to free speech, the chief minister said adding China, often criticised by America for alleged human rights violation, was of the opinion that such rights should include those of food, clothing and shelter.
"I share this view of China. This is particularly relevant for our country where 35 per cent of the people lives below the poverty line and 30 per cent are illiterate. We must improve the quality of lives of our people," he said.
WBHRC chairman Shyamal Sen said poverty was the biggest challenge to human rights across the world.
Advocate General of West Bengal Balai Roy said with complaints piling up, the WBHRC should consider their screening before admission in order to prevent abuse of the human rights violation redressal system.