Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju on Sunday called West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee “totally dictatorial, intolerant, and whimsical” in her behaviour for arresting a man who asked her a question at a rally.
A man, identified as Siladitya Chowdhury and who was dubbed as a Maoist by Mamata at a public meeting at the former Maoist stronghold of Belpahari on August 8, was arrested when he asked her what steps she was taking to help farmers.
Chowdhury had told the chief minister that the farmers were dying and that ‘empty promises were not enough’.
In a hard-hitting statement, Katju said action amounted to “blatant misuse’’ of state machinery and “flagrant violation’’ of constitutional and human rights.
“I had earlier given a statement in favour of Mamata Banerjee because I thought one should see good points in a person’s personality also. But now I believe that she is totally undeserving to be a political leader in a democratic country like India since she has no respect for constitutional and civil rights of citizens,’’ he said.
Other political parties too had criticised Mamata’s action. While the BJP said giving answers was the duty of political leaders and that they couldn’t run away, the CPM, the arch rival of the TMC, dubbed the arrest as “unfortunate and horrific”.’