‘What is your price?’: Ex-judge, BJP pick on Mamata

KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress dashed off a complaint to Election Commission against BJP‘s Tamluk candidate and ex-high court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Thursday over what it said were “unbelievably disparaging and misogynistic” remarks in public against Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, including asking what her “price” was and whether she was “a woman at all”.
“Trinamool says (BJP’s Sandeshkhali candidate) Rekha Patra was bought for Rs 2,000. So, Mamata Banerjee, what is your price, Rs 10 lakh?” Gangopadhyay was quoted as saying at a campaign rally in East Midnapore’s Chaitanyapur the previous day.
“Is that because you use Keya Seth make-up (alluding to a personal care products brand)? And Rekha Patra can be bought for Rs 2,000 because she works in households? How can a woman denigrate a woman so much?” the former judge said.
Trinamool refused to take Gangopadhyay’s tirade against “one of India’s most popular female politicians” lying down.
“He has crossed all limits of decency with his choice of such utterly derogatory words. People have stopped regarding you (Gangopadhyay) as a human being. We do not believe that such words can be used by a decent person,” state finance minister Chandrima Bhattacharya.
The BJP candidate didn’t take calls from TOI or issue any statement on the row, just one among a series of controversies and personal attacks involving functionaries of the saffron party and Trinamool.
Mamata, who was campaigning in nearby Haldia – a part of Tamluk constituency – didn’t refer to Gangopadhyay once in her 36-minute speech.
Trinamool argued that that even the context in which the ex-judge made “cheap” remarks against Mamata was wrong.
“Nobody (from Trinamool) has said Patra and others were bought for Rs 2,000. We said they were misled, given Rs 2,000 and made pawns in a political conspiracy.
No one knows how to safeguard a woman’s dignity better than our CM,” minister Bhattacharya said.

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