Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee has stoked a controversy by publicly threatening to “chop off the hands and gouge out the eyes” of those who dared to challenge the ruling party, evoking strong condemnation from opposition parties.
“Those who dare to show their eyes, we will gouge them out and throw them on the streets. If someone shows us their hands we will cut them off. But you have to remember that in democracy, it is the common man who will have the last word,” he said yesterday at a meeting at Basirhat North 24-Parganas district in the presence of senior party leaders.
The comments of 27-year-old Abhishek, a first-time parliamentarian from the Diamond Harbour constituency, drew severe criticism from opposition parties.
Kamal Beriwal, secretary, state BJP unit, today lodged a complaint in the Joarasakho Police Station, accusing Abhishek of instigating TMC workers to attack opposition workers.
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury condemned the statement and said that it amounted to nothing short of criminal intimidation.
“Human civilisation has travelled a long way from the days of eye-for-an-eye philosophy. This is nothing but a criminal intimidation. In a democracy it is not expected but this is also unfortunate coming from a ruling party leader,” Yechury told reporters.
CPI-M state secretary and Opposition leader Surya Kanta Mishra said in a veiled attack on TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, “This is expected only from kids when you have such guardians.”
BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said the comments reflected the ‘DNA’ of Trinamool Congress. BJP state president Rahul Sinha apprehended that Abhishek’s comment would instigate violence.
In January, this year, Abhishek was slapped by a young man who got onto the stage during a TMC rally.