ECI Bans Former Kolkata HC Judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay From Campaigning For 24 Hours Over Sexist Remarks On Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

ECI Bans Former Kolkata HC Judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay From Campaigning For 24 Hours Over Sexist Remarks On Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

The poll panel, which censured Gangopadhyay, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Tamluk candidate for the Lok Sabha elections, said his statement is a direct affront to women.

Aritra SinghaUpdated: Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 10:43 AM IST
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Kolkata: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday called former Kolkata High Court judge Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay’s comment on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee a low-level personal attack and barred him from campaigning for 24 hours.

Gangopadhyay had at an election campaign raised the Sandeshkhali incident and said, Mamata Banerjee, how much are you being sold for? Your rate is 10 lakhs, why? Because you’re getting your make-up done by Keya Seth? Mamata Banerjee, is she even a woman? I keep wondering sometimes.

The poll panel, which censured Gangopadhyay, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Tamluk candidate for the Lok Sabha elections, said his statement is a direct affront to women.

Such a statement needs to be condemned outright, the panel added. Given the former judge's background, he is not entitled to any leniency, the ECI further observed.

"The commission painfully notes the fact that such abominable words have come from someone of Shri Abhijit Gangopadhyay's educational and professional background and hence he does not remotely deserve any benefit of the doubt."

About Abhijit Gangopadhyay

The former Calcutta High Court judge had in March resigned from service and joined the BJP. The former judge was no stranger to controversy, even before his abrupt resignation from judicial service. Months before he stepped down from judicial office, the former judge had accused fellow high court judge, Justice Soumen Sen, of working at the behest of a political party.

The ECI also observed that women have commanded the highest respect in Indian society, and the Constitution and all institutions have constantly pursued the ideal of ensuring the dignity of women.

A copy of the letter has also been sent to BJP national president JP Nadda. The EC has asked Nadda to make sure that BJP candidates do not repeat this lapse during the campaign.

The TMC had complained to the poll panel after which the Election Commission had issued a show-cause notice to Gangopadhyay and asked him to justify the 'objectionable comment' by May 20. Several purported videos of Sandeshkhali have gone viral over the last few days and in one such video BJP mandal president Gangadhar Koyal was heard saying that money was given to women to stage rape allegations.

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