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Condemning the controversial statement made by West Bengal Power Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rupa Ganguly, women rights activists on Saturday said it is shameful and deplorable for a minister to make such remarks, adding that the crime rate is definitely increasing in West Bengal.
"Rupa Ganguly is a representative of the public in whom the citizens have reposed their faith. It is obvious that the crime rate is increasing in West Bengal. The minister of West Bengal, Sobhandeb, says that it is getting personal by attacking Ganguly through a degrading remark. It is hitting below the belt. It is shameful and deplorable that a minister talks like that," woman activist Abha Singh told ANI.
She added that Ganguly's comment was not personal and she was trying to refer to the deteriorating law and order situation in West Bengal.
"It is for everybody to see the way women were raped in the areas of West Bengal. Even the police have turned a blind eye," she asserted.
Meanwhile, National Commission for Women (NCW) spokesperson, Nirmala Samant said that Sobhandeb had reacted in a very indecent manner to Ganguly's statement which was not compatible with the status and dignity of a woman.
"Moreover it was the most unwelcomed thing and it was not befitting to his own stature. He shouldn't have reacted in that manner, making allegations over the character of Ganguly, and thereby, demeaning issues related to women," she added.
Sawant further said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is herself aware that law and other related issues are deteriorating in the state.
"She should try to improve the situation and at the same time, must take action. Such person (Sobhandeb) should not be kept in the Ministry," she asserted.
Meanwhile, Ganguly said the leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM) have destroyed West Bengal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is there to fight against them.
"Probably, he was not told or probably he did not see the complete thing that I have said, that is why he gave such a remark. It is not for the people living in Bengal, I am talking about the one coming from outside. People saying such good words about Mamata Banerjee should come and see the situation over here," she said.
She said that the present situation in Bengal for women is unsafe, adding that people start stalking them and begin to harass them.
"He is a very senior person and is very much respected in his region, but he cannot deny the fact. This is the truth that if the veteran leaders of Bengal, be it from TMC or CPI (M), would have been able to handle Bengal properly then it was not needed for people like us belonging from cultural background to enter into politics," she said.
Further highlighting the poor law and order situation in the state, she said that the West Bengal Police is spineless and acts on the instruction given by ministers, who don't work properly.
"It hurts me to say that this is the real condition of Bengal. Sobhandeb is in ruling party that doesn't mean that only he is Bengali. This is our state, we are born here. It is not that only he is feeling bad about it. I am feeling more sad saying this thing. We are embarrassed that we are using such words. He should just stop such incidents, should just direct Police to take action and we will stop making such comments," she said.
Chattopadhyay earlier made a controversial statement when he asked Ganguly to reveal the number of times she had been raped in West Bengal before portraying a negative picture about the state.
Chattopadhyay's statement came after Ganguly dared those flattering Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Congress Party to send their wives and daughters to Bengal to live for 15 days and survive without getting raped.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)