Bengal poll compared to lady throwing tantrums

West Bengal advocate general Bimal Chatterjee Tuesday courted controversy when he compared the State Election Commission (SEC) to a beautiful lady throwing tantrums.

Appearing before Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi of the Calcutta High Court, Chatterjee made the comments during the hearing of an application filed by the poll panel seeking adequate security for the nomination process of the panchayat polls scheduled in July.

“The SEC is coming out now and then with new demands. It is behaving like a beautiful lady making this and that comments. It is behaving whimsically,” Chatterjee said.

He made the comment after the Commission's counsel, Lakshmichand Biyani, contended that the poll panel was yet to receive Rs.48 crore from the state government which it was entitled to get to conduct the polls.

Taking strong exception to the remarks, Biyani threatened to walk out of the court room saying “such unparliamentary language was unacceptable”.

The chief justice had to intervene to pacify Biyani following which the hearing proceeded.

Government pleader Ashok Banerjee later defended Chatterjee’s comment saying the SEC was coming out with new demands every day.

“It was not a personal remark. The AG wanted to reflect the behavior of the SEC which has been throwing tantrums every now and then,” Banerjee told mediapersons outside the court.

The comment attracted widespread criticism.

Former state women's commission member Bharati Mutsuddi described the comments as disparaging. “Such a comment coming from the advocate general is highly deplorable and unacceptable.”

Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra too derided the comments.

"I strongly condemn the uncalled for and sexist remarks. They are not only demeaning to women but intended to show the State Election Commission and the State Election Commissioner in poor light."

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