Kolkata, Feb 20 (IANS) A Trinamool Congress legislator, who had sparked a controversy by making disparaging comments about judges a day back, publicly apologised on Saturday after being censured by his party.
Monirul Islam, the legislator from Labhpur in Birbhum district, on Friday — without naming anybody — accused “a number of judges” of singing paens to the Leftists as they had got property worth crores of rupees at throwaway prices during their rule.
“Mamata Banerjee is the only chief minister who has not taken any piece of land from minorities, tribals or Scheduled Castes to dole out to others. She has not given away property worth crores to judges by charging only one rupee.”
“A number of judges, are preaching sermons. But in reality, these judges are enjoying property worth Rs.15 crore, Rs.20 crore, Rs.10 crore, Rs.5 crore by forking out only Re.1. Then how can they not but sing paens to the Leftists, rather than to Mamata Banerjee?”
Monirul’s comments led to a furore, with opposition parties and the civil society condemning him unequivocally.
Sensing the damage that the remarks could cause to the party, Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee directed him to apologise publicly.
“Trinamool does not endorse the comments of Labhpur MLA regarding judiciary. The party has asked him to apologise publicly,” said Chatteree.
Under pressure from his party, Monirul told the media that he was respectful to the judges and the judicial system, but claimed he only had one particular retired judge in mind while making the comments.
“I or my party respect the honourable judges and the judicial system. I wanted to comment on a former judge who has retired and wants to join politics.
“I did not want to show disrespect to any judge or the judicial system. But despite that, if anybody has felt humiliated or pained by my comments, I feel sorry and apologise.”
Infamous for his hate speeches, Monirul, a murder accused, was issued a show-cause notice by the Election Commission ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 after he asked Trinamool workers to prevent people from voting for other parties.
Monirul had publicly threatened to decapitate a Congress leader during the rural polls in the state in 2013.
“It would not take me even a minute to behead you,” he had said at a rally in July 2013 as he went on to claim how he had “squashed” three people under his feet for committing atrocities against women.