EC censures BJP nominee and ex-judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay over ‘low-level attack’ on Mamata Banerjee | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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EC censures BJP nominee and ex-judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay over ‘low-level attack’ on Mamata Banerjee

By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav
May 21, 2024 04:42 PM IST

BJP's Abhijit Gangopadhyay has been barred from campaigning for 24 hours for making derogatory remarks against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

The Election Commission on Tuesday censured former Calcutta high court judge and BJP's candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay for violating the Model Code of Conduct by making a “low-level personal attack” on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

The BJP has fielded Gangopadhyay from the Tamluk seat in West Bengal where voting will be held on May 25.
The BJP has fielded Gangopadhyay from the Tamluk seat in West Bengal where voting will be held on May 25.

The poll body debarred Gangopadhayay, BJP’s Tamluk candidate, from campaigning for 24 hours starting from 5pm today and also strictly warned him to remain careful in his public utterances during the period of the Model Code of Conduct.

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At a public meeting in Haldia on May 15, Gangopadhyay said in Bengali, “'Mamata Banerjee, how much are you being sold for? Your rate is Rs10 lakh, why? Because you're getting your make-up done by Keya Seth? Mamata Banerjee, is she even a woman? I keep wondering sometimes.”

The ECI said it is convinced that Gangopadhyay made a "low-level personal attack and thus violated the provisions of Model Code of Conduct".

"The Commission...finds Shri Abhijit Gangopadhyay's statement a direct affront on the "erosion of status of women in India"; such statement that is outrightly condemnable when used in respect of any woman, not to speak of a senior political leader and holder of a constitutional position."

“The Commission painfully notes that fact that such abominable words have come from someone of Shri Abhijit Gangopadhyay's educational and professional background and hence does not remotely deserve any benefit of doubt,” it added.

The ECI also sent a copy of the order to BJP national president JP Nadda asking him to issue an advisory to all BJP candidates and campaigners of the party to make sure "this lapse does not recur during the campaign period".

Acting on a complaint by the Trinamool Congress against Gangopadhyay for his remarks against Banerjee, the ECI had sent a show-cause notice to the former judge of Calcutta high court. The Election Commission had sought a response from Gangopadhyay by 5 PM on May 20.

In its notice, the EC said Gangopadhyay's comment has been found to be "beyond dignity in every sense of term" and "in bad taste", and prima facie violative of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and its advisory to political parties.

The BJP has fielded Gangopadhyay from the Tamluk seat in West Bengal where voting will be held on May 25.

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