The cartoon controversy is yet to die down, but the Trinamool Congress is knee-deep in trouble again.
This time, a senior minister’s comments, exhorting his partymen to socially boycott CPM members, have raised the hackles of both ally Congres and the intelligentsia. The man in the eye of the storm — food minister Jyotipriyo Mullick — has refused to apologise.
On Sunday, at a meeting of party workers held near Kolkata, Mullick had asked them to stay away from CPM men.
In an amateur video leaked to the media, he was seen saying, “They (CPM cadres) are objects of hatred. Hate them”.
Trinamool workers, he had said, should not attend functions where CPM cadres are likely to be present. They should not sit beside CPM men. “In your local tea stall, if you see them coming, get up and leave,” he had added.
State Congress secretary Om Prakash Mishra said, “No sane person can support such statements. The minister should immediately tender an apology.” “There is no question of taking back my words,” Mullick told HT on Tuesday. “Please try to understand I have not incited anybody to take revenge.”