Kolkata, December 2: In a bizarre statement, a government official in West Bengal said that people can attain "strange power" if they stand before Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's photo every morning. Arindam Mukherjee, Block Development Officer (BDO) in West Bengal’s Hasnabad made the remark on Saturday while addressing a public gathering held to distribute relief materials to locals affected by cyclone 'Bulbul' at the Bhebia Gram Panchayat. Mamata Banerjee Reiterates 'No NRC in West Bengal' After Amit Shah Announces Pan-India Implementation.
"If you stand in front of the Chief Minister’s image in the morning for two minutes, you will find a strange power. I stand in front of two pictures. One of Swami Vivekananda’s and the other of Mamata Banerjee. You get inspiration. Eta nijeke punarjivit kora ( It feels like you're reviving yourself)," Mukherjee told the crowd. At the event, he distributed relief kit named 'Dignity' which was sanctioned by the state government and the BDO. NRC Will Be Implemented Across Country, No Exclusion on Basis of Religion, Says Amit Shah.
The kit 'dignity' contained tarpaulin sheets, two sarees, lungi, dhoti, children's clothes, dry food, stove, utensils and various other daily use items. The incident was caught on camera and has drawn sharp criticism from Opposition parties. The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), however, said that there was nothing controversial in Mukherjee's statement and that "anyone can inspire anyone in this world".
Reacting to Mukherjee's statement, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that it was a "height of sycophancy". "I heard about the matter and it is very unfortunate how senior administrative officials are losing their neutrality. Partisan role of the administration is everywhere in Bengal. The bureaucrats are under tremendous pressure from the ruling party to save their chair," BJP vice president Joyprakash Majumdar told News18.