Low-level personal attack: EC restricts former Cal HC judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay from campaigning for 24 hrs

Gangopadhyay’s abominable comments had brought damage to West Bengal, notes EC

abhijit gangopadhyay BJP candidate and former Calcutta High Court Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay during a press conference at his residence in Kolkata | Salil Bera

For his derogatory remarks against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Election Commission of India (ECI) restricted Tamluk BJP candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay from campaigning for 24 hours, starting from 5pm on Tuesday. 

The commission’s decision was taken after Trinamool Congress (TMC) lodged a complaint alleging that the former Calcutta High Court justice had made “blatant misogynistic” comments against the only female chief minister of India. 

In a video from a rally in West Bengal’s Haldia on May 15, Gangopadhyay was seen reacting against the TMC’s allegations that women protesters in Sandeshkhali were paid Rs 2,000 to speak against the state’s ruling party. Gangopadhyay said in the video, “Today the Trinamool is telling all the lies, claiming that Rekha Patra was bought for Rs 2,000. Mamata Banerjee, what is your selling price then? You give a job if someone pays you Rs 8 lakh. Someone pays you Rs 10 lakh and sells rations to a foreign country.”

“So is your price Rs 10 lakh because you get facials and make-up done. Rekha Patra is poor so she can be brought for Rs 2,000? Can a woman say such things about another woman? I doubt if Mamata Banerjee is at all a woman,” he said.

Gangopadhyay's comments led to a huge controversy with the TMC urging the ECI to intervene immediately. The commission had issued a show-cause notice to Gangopadhyay and asked him to reply to the TMC’s complaint. The BJP candidate submitted his reply on Monday. After going through his reply, the ECI found his remarks against Mamata Banerjee to be “low-level personal attack” which violated the model code of conduct.

The commission also said that Gangopadhyay’s “abominable” comments had brought damage to West Bengal which has a distinguished tradition of respecting women. The ECI also warned the former Calcutta High Court justice to refrain from repeating such comments in future public meetings.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp