New Delhi/Kolkata: Major political parties including BJP on Wednesday condemned as “barbaric” a saffron youth wing leader’s offer of a Rs 11 lakh bounty on the head of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with his remark setting off an uproar in Parliament.
The TMC, which is led by Banerjee, demanded the immediate arrest of Yogesh Varshney, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), while the BJP distanced itself from the controversial remark. The Centre also roundly condemned the statement and said the West Bengal government was free to take legal action against Varshney.
“Mamata government beat up people. If someone was wearing a red shirt or a red pant, they were beaten up brutally by the police. I don’t understand...Mamata Banerjee organises Iftar party, she argues for the Muslims. I want to ask her are Hindus not human?
“If they had any humanity, they wouldn’t have beaten up like this.If anyone brings me her severed head, I will give that person Rs 11 lakh,” Varshney said.
In an apparent reference to the remark, Banerjee said one can threaten or call her names, but cannot scare her. Without naming anyone, Banerjee said, “They can abuse me, vilify me and conspire against me. They can abuse me as much as they want. I pray to God to forgive them. They do not know what they are saying. I will not say anything more.”
The BJYM on its part disowned Varshney and demanded legal action against him. “BJYM stands against the statements made by Yogesh Varshney, and also urges the local administration to take all the necessary legal actions against him as per law,” it said in a statement, adding Varshney was expelled two years ago from the party.
As the Parliament roundly condemned the statement, the Centre said the West Bengal government was “free to take legal action” against him.
The issue was raised in both the Houses by Trinamool Congress(TMC) members, with all major political parties and the government condemning the statement.
In the Rajya Sabha, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the state government can register a FIR and
Raising this issue during Zero Hour in the Upper House, TMC member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy asked the House and the government to condemn the statement, saying “a constitutionally elected CM has been described as a demon.”
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “I strongly condemn such type of statements. The state government is free to take legal action on this issue”.