Police complaint filed against BJP’s Anupam Hazra for “COVID-hug” comment on Mamata Banerjee

A police complaint has been filed against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Anupam Hazra for a comment he made on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The new National Secretary of the BJP from West Bengal had said that he would hug Banerjee if he gets COVID-19.

The complaint was filed on Monday by Trinamool Congress’ refugee cell for making derogatory comments against a woman and head of the state. It was filed in Siliguri police station of Darjeeling district. The complaint seeks action against the BJP leader for maligning a public figure who is a woman. Banerjee is in Siliguri on Monday for three days to hold administrative meetings with districts of north Bengal. Her visit to north Bengal last week was cancelled due to inclement weather conditions in the area.

Hazra was elected Trinamool Congress MP from Bolpur in 2014 but was suspended by the party in January 2019. He joined the BJP after that and was fielded by the party from Jadavpur where he lost against Trinamool Congress’ Mimi Chakraborty in the Lok Sabha polls. On Sunday, Hazra was quoted saying that if “some day I test positive for COVID, I will go to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and hug her. She will then understand the pain of those who have suffered from the disease and lost those who who are close to them to the pandemic”.

On Sunday, BJP leader Rahul Sinha expressed anguish for being replaced by Hazra and said he would react to the party decision within 10-12 days.

Anupam Hazra could not be reached, but he has reportedly said that he would comment on the matter soon. Senior BJP leaders in Bengal meanwhile, did not appear to have support for Hazra on his comment on Banerjee. BJP’s newly appointed Vice-President Mukul Roy was quoted saying that those in positions of responsibility should know what to speak of in public.

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