Giri is the Minister of the Correctional Administration Department in the government of West Bengal.
Trinamool Congress Party leader and West Bengal minister Akhil Giri courted controversy by commenting on President Droupadi Murmu’s appearance.
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Addressing a rally in Nandigram, the leader said, "He (Suvendu Adhikari) says I am not good-looking. How beautiful you are! We don't judge anyone by their appearance, we respect the office of the President (of India). But how does our President look?" Giri was talking about Adhikari, a BJP leader after violence erupted in Adhikari’s Nandigram constituency over a Martyrs' Day event.
Giri is the Minister of the Correctional Administration Department in the government of West Bengal, and the former Minister of Fisheries. He is also an MLA, elected from the Ramnagar constituency since 2011.
BJP has turned the heat on Giri claiming that his statements “reflect the anti-tribal mindset of the TMC party.” BJP MP Saumitra Khan wrote to the National Commission for Women to investigate the incident and to “immediately arrest” Giri.
The party’s IT cell head Amit Malviya also said that Giri’s comments were a "shameful level of discourse" alleging that TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee “has always been anti-tribal”.
TMC responded by saying that it doesn’t support such comments and doesn’t take responsibility for comments made by individuals in their own capacity.
Giri has apologised and was quoted by the news agency PTI as saying, "I didn't mean to disrespect the Honourable President. I was replying to what BJP leaders said while verbally attacking me. Every day, I am verbally attacked for my looks. If someone thinks I have disrespected the President, then it is wrong. I apologise for making such a remark.”
But many say that Giri’s controversial remarks are unlike his usual style. Giri is known as an honest politician, a good organiser who keeps a low profile but can get carried away when talking to people in local dialects, reported the Indian Express.
Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Udit Raj had also sparked controversy by making questionable remarks against the President, for which they later apologised.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)