Illiterate women in burqas sitting with babies on their laps and eating biryani purchased with foreign funds are carrying out protests at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh and Kolkata’s Park Circus, Bharatiya Janata Party’s acerbic Bengal president Dilip Ghosh said Saturday.
Ghosh’s statements came within 24-hours of Union home minister Amit Shah saying that it was possible that provocative statements made by some BJP leaders could have contributed to the party’s defeat in the Delhi assembly elections.
“Poor, unaware people have been made to sit on the roads. In return, they are receiving money every day. They are being fed biryani bought with foreign funds. All this is being done to show that people are with them,” Ghosh said at a party workers’ meet in Kolkata.
“Be it Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh or Kolkata’s Park Circus, the picture is same everywhere. People like Brinda Karat and P Chidambaram attend these gatherings when they go to Delhi or Kolkata. Some illiterate women who are sitting with babies on their lap are sitting there (Shaheen Bagh and Park Circus). They are the only audience,” he added.
The statements made by the saffron party’s president in Bengal were quick to trigger a controversy and drew flak from other parties.
State panchayat and rural development minister Subrata Mukherjee mocked Ghosh and said: “He is so powerful that just by hearing his name we get scared.”
“Ghosh was never a part of students’ politics, mass movements and grass-root level politics. No person who has a minimum sense of ground reality can make such comments about these women,” said Md. Salim, politburo member of Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Ghosh is no stranger to outrageous comments. But even by his own standards he came out with a shocker last month saying that he was surprised that no protester at Shaheen Bagh or Park Circus had died despite the bitter cold.