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TMC Minister describes West Bengal's Garden Reach as 'mini Pakistan', invites ire

India TV Politics Desk 30 Apr 2016, 13:40:33 IST
India TV Politics Desk

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress Bobby Firhad Hakim has triggered a fresh controversy with his remark referring Garden Reach Vidhan Sabha constituency in South 24 Parganas district as ‘mini-Pakistan’.

"Please come along and let us take you to mini-Pakistan in Kolkata," the Minister for Urban Development and for Municipal Affairs in Mamata Banerjee's Cabinet said in an interview to Pakistani daily The Dawn on Friday.

The article - 'Canvassing in 'mini-Pakistan' of Kolkata', written by Maleeha Hamid Siddiqui appeared at a time when polling is underway at 53 constituencies spread over in 3 districts.

The Trinamool Congress was quick to distance itself from Bobby’s remark. "I do not agree with such views provided he actually said so," party MP Sultan Ahmed said.

When party spokesperson Derek O Brien was asked to comment on this, he refused to reply.

The Minister, however, later termed it a blatant attempt to foment communal tension during the polls.

“I will not elaborate on this issue because it is beneath my dignity to do so. If PM Modi can visit Pakistan four times, how does it matter if one Firhad Hakim gives a 'mini-Pakistan' statement?" Bobby said.

State BJP vice-president Joyprakash Majumdar questioned the silence of top party functionaries and said that they will file a complaint with the Election Commission.

“The statement has been on the internet for half-a-day. During the entire period no Trinamool functionary said anything in protest. This shows that they want to remain silent about it,” he said.