NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien on Wednesday condemned as "distasteful" BJP leader Dilip Ghosh's purported remarks against the West Bengal chief minister suggesting that she should wear Bermuda shorts to display her injured leg, and said such comments were "not acceptable" in politics.
Participating in a debate on the Finance Bill in Rajya Sabha, O'Brien said his party condemns this kind of remarks against anyone.
"There is decency, there is courtesy which we always try to extend. Doesn't matter man, woman. So I am little disturbed. Most distasteful statement was made about a woman saying that she should not wear a saree anymore but she should wear Bermuda shorts," the Trinamool MP said.
He said the statement was made by a parliamentarian who is a state president of the BJP.
"This is not acceptable in politics. This was said by an MP and state president of the BJP. We condemn this kind of remarks against anyone," the leader said.
He said there may be political differences among parties but that does not mean that they are political enemies.
"So what if there are political differences. We have major differences on ideology. I respect Ma'am and every other MP. They are our political rivals. We are not political enemies," he said referring to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
A video clip of Ghosh apparently suggesting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should wear Bermuda shorts to display her injured leg has triggered a controversy.
While no one was named in the purported speech by Ghosh, known for his controversial comments, most commentators took the comments to be directed at Banerjee.
In the video, the veracity of which could not be confirmed by PTI, Ghosh was seen stating at an election meeting in Purulia on Monday that after the cast was taken off and the foot was bandaged, she is displaying the leg to everyone.
"She is wearing saree with one leg covered but kept another open for viewing. Haven't seen anyone draping a saree in such a way. If she has to display her leg for viewing, she can very well wear Bermuda shorts. That will help to have a better view," the BJP MP was purportedly heard stating.
Taking part in the debate on the Finance Bill, O'Brien targeted the Centre over the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme.
"It is bad, poor and pathetic governance when 60 per cent funds of the scheme are spent on advertising," he said.
Referring to the demonetisation as "a draconian" move, he said no speech on finance or economy can be made without recalling what had happened then.
He urged the Centre to take the best practices from the world while remarking that "there is so much of negativity around and so much of negativity is being spread."
The Trinamool Congress MP said the number of centrally sponsored schemes has been reduced from 66 to 28, while the central share in state schemes which used to be 75 per cent has been reduced to 60 per cent.
The Trinamool leader said 62 per cent cess was levied on petrol, 69 per cent on diesel and added that there is a basic difference between cess and tax as the entire cess goes to the Centre.
"Fifteen years ago cess collection was 2 per cent of entire revenue, but now cess is 15-16 per cent," he said and added that Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection from West Bengal has risen to Rs 28,000 crore from Rs 12,000 in 2017-18, but there is no tax devolution.
Also, he expressed concern that in the last five years the number of audit reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) was down by 75 per cent and added that an "unacceptable precedence" is being set.