Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Bounty on Mamata rocks House

- HTC & Agencies letters@hindustant­imes.com

I strongly condemn such type of statements. State government is free to take legal action on this issue. A strong message should go from the government against such behaviour and action must be taken against the guilty

The Parliament strongly condemned on Wednesday a statement by a BJP youth wing leader who announced a ₹11-lakh bounty to anyone who beheads West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, with the Centre saying the state government is “free to take legal action” against him.

Yogesh Varshney, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, triggered a controvers­y after saying Banerjee does not allow procession­s and fairs during Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti though she organises Iftar party and always supports Muslims.

Banerjee, on her part, dismissed Varshney’s statement as ‘a regular affair’. “I am regularly targeted with offensive words… I participat­e in Durga Puja. I also participat­e in Eid, I go to church. Who are you to stop me?” she was quoted as saying at a public rally in Domkal of Murshidaba­d district.

Varshney’s statement was raised in both the Houses by Trinamool Congress members even as all major political parties and the government condemned it.

In the Rajya Sabha, deputy chairman PJ Kurien said the state government can register an FIR and take action.

Raising this issue during Zero Hour in the Upper House, Trinamool member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said the BJP youth activist publicly described West Bengal CM as a “demon” and announced the bounty.

Roy asked the House and the government to condemn the incident, saying “a constituti­onally elected CM has been described as demon”.

Minister of state for parliament­ary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “I strongly condemn such type of statements. State government is free to take appropriat­e legal action on this issue”.

BSP supremo Mayawati termed it a “serious matter”.

Other opposition parties, including the Congress, Left and the Samajwadi Party, also supported the TMC on the issue.

Jaya Bachchan of the SP said there was a need to take “aggressive” steps for protection of


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