Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee attacks Vice-President Dhankhar, defends mimicry act | India News

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NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee on Monday accused Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar of “throttling the opposition to please the ruling dispensation at the Centre” even as he justified his mimicry act against the Rajya Sabha chairman.
“How much will you bend? How much do you want to please Narendra Modi and the BJP?” the TMC leader said at a programme in his constituency Serampore.
The Trinamool leader, who is in the eye of a storm over his mimicry of the Vice-President during the opposition’s protest on the stairs of Parliament on December 19, accused Dhankhar of being engrossed with himself while adorning a constitutional position. He should look at the country instead, Kalyan Banerjee said.
Kalyan Banerjee had earlier issued a clarification saying he did not intend to hurt anyone. “I wasn’t intending to hurt anyone. I do not know why he is taking this on himself. Does he act like this in the Rajya Sabha?” the Trinamool MP had said.
He defended his act and said he would mimic Dhankhar many times over as he considered it an ‘art form’. “Mimicry is a right, an expression, it is a fundamental right,” he said and asserted that nobody can “destroy” it.
The Vice-President had termed the act as “shameful, ridiculous and unacceptable”. Dhankhar on Sunday again invoked the mimicry row and said he is a ‘sufferer’ who isn’t spared despite being the chairman of the Rajya Sabha and holding one of the highest public offices of the country.
“I am a sufferer. A sufferer knows how to withstand from the inside, and take all upfront insults in one direction. We are in the service of our Bharat Mata (mother India). You will have to show integrity. You will have to exhibit high ethical standards. There will be pressures and counter pressures,” Dhankhar said.
BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla on Monday said the entire alliance of the opposition was encouraging and emboldening the lawmaker.
Poonawalla, in a personalised video address, said, “He calls it his right to mimic the Vice President. He also says the Vice President should not complain like a child does to his mother. His defiance shows that he has no regrets for his conduct. Let alone apologise, he is justifying his impression of the Rajya Sabha chairman. He says it (doing impressions) is an art form. He says it is right to insult those holding top public offices in the country.”
Hitting out at leaders of the INDIA bloc, the BJP leader said, “Rahul Gandhi video-graphed the act. He stood there, encouraging him. The entire INDIA bloc is standing in support of this member. This only goes to show their mindset. The entire alliance, especially TMC and Rahul Gandhi, are emboldening Kalyan Banerjee”.
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the ‘arrogance’ of the Trinamool Congress was at its peak in West Bengal.
Responding to the Trinamool MP’s defiant stance, Pradhan said, “No one is jailed for being uncultured. Backed by Mamata Banerjee, arrogance appears to be at its peak in the TMC. If they mock a constitutional post, a farmer’s son, someone who comes from a backward caste, they might not be thrown in jail but will never be forgiven by the people. It seems this ‘ghamandiya’ alliance (INDIA) can’t accept the popularity of the government under the leadership of PM (Narendra) Modi.”
(With inputs from agencies)



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