- TMC has cautioned Giri against making derogatory remarks in the future
- Banerjee recalled that Giri was referred to as 'darkak' in the past
- Giri had made the comment about the President's looks during a rally in Nandigram
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday apologised to President Droupadi Murmu on behalf of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Banerjee's apology came as she condemned ministerial colleague Akhil Giri's controversial remarks on the President and said she has immense respect for Murmu.
Further, Banerjee's party TMC has cautioned Giri against making derogatory remarks in the future.
"I condemn Akhil Giri's comment on President Droupadi Murmu. What Akhil has done is wrong. We don't support such a remark. I apologise on behalf of my party as he is my party colleague. The party has already cautioned Akhil Giri," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
The chief minister, without pointing a finger at anybody, also recalled that Giri was referred to as 'darkak' (crow species) in the past.
Giri faced flak recently for his remarks on the physical appearance of President Droupadi Murmu, during a rally in Nandigram.
In a video that went viral, Giri was heard saying in a public meeting, “He (Suvendu Adhikari) says I am ugly. How beautiful you are! We don't judge anyone by their appearance, we respect the office of the President (of India). But how does our President look?"
Who is Akhil Giri?
Akhil Giri has been the arch-rival of the Leader of the Opposition and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari for many years.
Although not much is known about his educational background, Giri was baptised in politics as an activist of the Congress students' wing Chatra Parishad in the early seventies.
He was inspired by the then-firebrand youth leaders Subrata Mukherjee and Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.
But in the late eighties, he came close to Mamata Banerjee, then a rising star of the West Bengal Congress.
When Banerjee formed the TMC on January 1, 1998, Giri was among the first few leaders from the districts to join her even before Suvendu Adhikari's father Sisir Adhikari, then a stalwart leader of Congress.
In 2001, Giri became the MLA of the Ramnagar assembly seat for the first time. Although he lost in 2006, from 2011, he has won it thrice and is presently serving as an MLA from the seat.
Known for his organisational skills and ability to connect with the masses, Giri, a staunch loyalist of Banerjee, was always under the shadow of the powerful Adhikari family in the district.
Giri and Adhikaris never shared a good rapport, even when both were in the TMC.
After Suvendu Adhikari joined the BJP in December 2020, Giri's stature rose both in the TMC and in the district.
He managed to ensure TMC's victory in nine out of the 16 assembly constituencies in the district in the 2021 polls.
He was rewarded with a ministerial berth and a plum organisational post in the district.