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Bengal minister leaves podium at Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary function in protest against presence of BJP MP

Kolkata, Jan 30 (PTI) West Bengal Forest Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick on Sunday abruptly left the podium during a function to mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in Barrackpore area, refusing to share the stage with BJP MP Arjun Singh.

Mallick, who was seated beside Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, suddenly got down from the stage when the Barrackpore MP arrived.

Asked why chose to step aside, the minister was heard telling the governor, “A professional killer is sitting beside you. In protest, I am leaving the platform. I am sitting with the audience.” Mallick’s comments came in the backdrop of the murder of Trinamool Congress leader Gopal Majumder in Barrackpore by unidentified assailants late on Saturday.

While the ruling party alleged the killing was masterminded by Singh, the BJP MP attributed the incident to infighting within the TMC.

BJP leader Bijoy Mukhopadhay was arrested on Sunday morning in connection with the murder of Majumder, who was shot at and stabbed multiple times while returning home, a police officer said.

“We believe in democracy and non-violence preached by Mahatma Gandhi. It is the TMC that is unleashing violence on us, and killing its own party members in factional feud,” Singh said.

He, however, refused to comment on Mallick’s action.

The minister later told reporters, “I was representing the state government as per protocol. But, I could not be seated on the podium with a mastermind of murders against whom we have filed charges and investigation is pending.” “I did not leave the function midway, I remained seated with the audience,” he added.

BJP leader Debajit Sarkar shot back, asserting that the TMC is making wild allegations, and it has no right to indulge in “character assassination” of a representative of people at a state function. PTI SUS RBT RBT

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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