Union finance minister and Congress stalwart Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday asked West Bengal's electorate not to cast a single vote in favour of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), until it takes action against its leader Anil Basu, for making disparaging comments against Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
Basu on Sunday issued a statement apologising for the comments he made on Friday.
"Such kind of words should not be used. What we can do to protest we can observe a protest day. We can give a statement condemning such words. But this is not real protest. The real protest would be if the people don't cast a single vote in favour of the party (CPI-M) until it takes drastic action against such a leader," said Mukherjee, addressing a rally in Kolkata.
"Please don't cast a single vote in favour of this party until and unless it takes action against the leader who has uttered those dirty words," Mukherjee said.
While addressing an election rally at Arambagh in Hooghly district Friday, CPI-M leader Basu made some disparaging comments against Banerjee. Local television channels picked up the bytes and aired the clip. Some of the channels even censored the said comments describing the words as "unsuitable for broadcasting".
Basu's comment has not only drawn the ire of the chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who has openly censured Basu, but has also drawn criticism from all sections of society.
The third phase of polling to elect a new 294 member assembly in West Bengal is scheduled for April 27.