Complaint Against BJP Leader Over "Covid Hug" Threat To Mamata Banerjee
Anupam Hazra is a former MP from West Bengal's Bolpur who joined the BJP in January 2019. (File)
A police complaint has been filed against BJP's Anupam Hazra, the new National Secretary from West Bengal, who had said he would hug Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee if he gets COVID-19.
The complaint was filed this morning by Trinamool Congress's Refugee Cell for derogatory remarks against a woman and head of the state. It seeks action against Anupam Hazra for maligning a public figure, who is a woman, in violation of the Constitution and hurting the sentiments of the complainants. The police complaint was filed at the Siliguri police station in Darjeeling district.
The Chief Minister has gone to Siliguri today for a three-day visit during which she will hold an administrative review of North Bengal.
On Sunday Anupam Hazra a former MP from Bolpur who joined the BJP in January 2019, was quoted as saying, "If someday I am found Covid positive I will go to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and hug her. She will understand the pain of those who have suffered the disease and have lost their near and dear ones during the pandemic."
The comment, condemned by the Trinamool Congress, came a day after Mr Hazra was appointed secretary by the BJP replacing Rahul Sinha who expressed anger at a loyal party worker having to make way to "accommodate" a Trinamool turncoat.
Mr Hazra could not be reached for a reaction to the police complaint filed against him, though he has said on social media that he will speak to the press later today.
BJP leaders in Bengal have distanced themselves from Mr Hazra's comment. "Those in positions of responsibility must be careful about what they speak," BJP's newly appointed Vice-President Mukul Roy said.
The BJP has been accusing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of "misleading" people on the extent of coronavirus crisis in the state by "hiding" real numbers.
West Bengal, which has more than 2.4 lakh coronavirus cases with 4,721 deaths, was among the five states which reported the highest deaths in the past 24 hours with 60 fatalities.