Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee has come under fire from Bharatiya Janata Party MP Locket Chatterjee over a video of the TMC leader pulling the cheeks of an outgoing lady MLA of the party at a press conference.
In the video, tweeted by Locket Chatterjee, she wrote,’Shame!’ and slammed Mamata Banerjee’s party for its double standards over women empowerment.
"TMC empowering women...? This is TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee and the woman is the outgoing Bankura MLA who was miffed for not getting a ticket," she added.
This video comes at a time when women in Bengal have taken centre stage in state politics with one of TMC's main poll slogans being 'Bangla Nijer Meyekei Chay' (Bengal wants its daughter.)
Taking potshots at Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her party's 'Bengal wants its daughter' campaign, Chatterjee charged the TMC with manipulating crime statistics and said it had 'suddenly woken up to the theme of daughterhood' due to impending polls.
News agencies quoted Chatterjee as saying that crime bureau records show that incidents of rape, molestation and acid attack 'have not declined, not even a wee bit, over the last 10 years in Bengal'.
Accusing the TMC government of not providing important and requisite data to the National Crime Records Bureau on the crimes committed against women in the state, Chatterjee said that 'this is the reason why the agency couldn't publish a comprehensive report on Bengal.
'From cases of trafficking in north Bengal to multiple murders in the state, only a few incidents are reported,' the senior BJP leader claimed.
Asked about the oft-repeated TMC criticism of the 'plight of women in BJP-ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh', the Lok Sabha MP said, '... the honourable CM must first explain why those behind the gangrape-murder of a Kamduni girl have not been punished yet.' A 20-year-old college student was in 2013 abducted, gang-raped and murdered in Kamduni village, North 24 Parganas district, around 20 km from Kolkata.
The election in West Bengal will be held in eight phases starting 27 March and end with the final round of voting on 29 April. Meanwhile, votes will be counted on 2 May.