Police complaint against BJP national secretary for ‘Covid hug’ remark on Bengal CM
The refugee cell of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday lodged a police complaint against Anupam Hazra, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP)’s new national secretary from West Bengal, for saying that he will hug chief minister Mamata Banerjee if he is infected by Covid-19.
In its complaint lodged at Siliguri police station in north Bengal, where the chief minister is on a three-day tour, the TMC refugee cell said Hazra’s comment was distasteful and an insult to a woman. It went against the culture of India, the complainants said.
“By making such a statement at the administrative head of a state, Hazra has violated the Constitution. We see this as an insult to all women,” said the complaint lodged by two women members of the refugee cell, Tara Biswas and Arpita Das.
Hazra made the statement at Baruipur in South 24 Parganas on Sunday, a day after his party made him national secretary by replacing former state president and veteran leader Rahul Sinha. Sinha reacted sharply, saying after serving the BJP since its birth he had to leave to make way for TMC leaders.
On Sunday, Hazra and a large number of BJP workers were not wearing masks and social distancing norms were flouted during a meeting at Baruipur. Reporters asked Hazra why wasn’t he or the others wearing any mask.
“Our workers are fighting a bigger enemy than Covid-19. They are fighting Mamata Banerjee. Since they were not affected by Covid-19, they are not scared anymore. I will hug Mamata Banerjee if I get infected. She treated victims of the disease in a pathetic manner. Their bodies were burnt with kerosene. We don’t even treat dead cats or dogs like that,” said Hazra. The statement drew flak.
Hazra could not be contacted on Monday after the police complaint was lodged and the BJP distanced itself from the controversy.
“Any responsible person should be more careful before making any statement,” said Mukul Roy who was made a national vice president during the reshuffles in the BJP’s national committee in Delhi on Sunday.
Hazra was a TMC Lok Sabha MP from Bolpur in Birbhum district. He joined the BJP before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He was fielded against popular actress Mimi Chakraborty, the ruling party’s candidate from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency. Hazra was defeated.