Election Commission showcauses BJP leader Dilip Ghosh for comments on Mamata Banerjee’s parentage

The BJP’s national general secretary Arun Singh sent Ghosh a notice (in Hindi) stating his remark was ‘improper and unparliamentary’, which went against the ‘traditions’ of the party

Calcutta, March 28, dmanewsdesk: The Election Commission of India on Wednesday showcaused BJP leader Dilip Ghosh for his objectionable remarks against chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s parentage, a day after his party had issued him a note of condemnation.

The commission cited many clauses of its model code of conduct, guidelines and advisories, besides several rulings of high courts and the Supreme Court, for the showcause which was issued following a complaint lodged by the Trinamul Congress.

The commission said: “… the comment has been found to be offensive, insulting, and prima facie violative of the aforesaid provisions….”

The commission has written to Ghosh that in the absence of a response from him by 5pm on Friday, it will presume that he has nothing to say on the matter. “… and the Election Commission will take appropriate action or decision on the matter without making any further reference to you,” it added.

The commission issued a similar notice to Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate after a post was made on her X account with sexual connotations targeted at BJP candidate Kangana Ranaut. Shrinate claimed that her account had been misused by an unidentified person who had access to it and she condemned the post, after deleting it.

A source in the Ghosh faction of the BJP’s Bengal unit said he would respond to the commission’s showcause before the deadline.

The Midnapore MP — who was moved against his wishes to contest from the Burdwan-Durgapur seat that the BJP lost in 2019 — has been a loose cannon. It is widely believed that Ghosh was removed as the BJP’s state president in 2021 (and then as national vice-president last year) largely for his propensity to invite controversy with contentious remarks in public.

On Tuesday, the BJP’s national general secretary Arun Singh sent Ghosh a notice (in Hindi) stating his remark was “improper and unparliamentary”, which went against the “traditions” of the party.

“The party condemns such remarks,” read the letter, which added that under instructions of BJP national president J.P. Nadda, Ghosh should immediately issue a clarification and take appropriate measures.

On Wednesday, in an interaction with journalists, Ghosh issued an apology for an apology, peppered with whataboutery and questions on the “woman card”.

“This is not the first instance of controversy over my remarks. Because I speak openly, upfront…. Now, what I have said this time… I have no personal feud with the honourable chief minister. I have nothing against her, in my mind. Things she has said repeatedly, to misguide the people, I had questioned that,” he said.

“The question now is that my language, my choice of words has caused a lot of people to object. My party too has said it. Others have as well… that it was ‘unparliamentary’. If that is indeed the case, I am sorry,” added Ghosh.

However, he was quick to add that pejorative remarks against others in his party, such as the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, were not accorded equal outrage, attributing the disparity to them being men.

“Are men not entitled to dignity because they are men? Only the dignity of a woman, because she is a woman, will be considered… the woman card would be flashed at the drop of a hat. I had protested that. I don’t want to say anything more on this,” said the MP.

Trinamul, which followed up its Tuesday complaint with a 10-member delegation sent to the Bengal chief electoral officer on Wednesday, said a statutory showcause from Nirvachan Sadan would not do as Ghosh was a “habitual offender”.

“We will wait, but we are still hoping for severe action from the Election Commission,” said industry minister Shashi Panja after the showcause.

Source: The Telegraph online