Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari, along with several other BJP MLAs, on Thursday held a "symbolic protest" on the state assembly premises against the alleged disrespect shown to the national anthem by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her visit to Mumbai.
The Trinamool Congress dubbed the allegations as "baseless" and claimed that the BJP is enacting a drama to defame the party supremo.
National TV channels showed Banerjee at an event with lyricist Javed Akhtar where she began singing the national anthem while seated, getting up and stopping midway through it.
Adhikari sang the national anthem along with some other party MLAs in front of the statue of B R Ambedkar on the premises of the assembly, terming it a symbolic protest against the "disrespect" shown by Banerjee to the national anthem.
Adhikari said he and six-seven party MLAs who came to the Assembly decided to gather before the statue of B R Ambedkar and sing the national anthem "praying to the Bharat Mata to forgive the disrespect to the national anthem in Mumbai the day before by someone from Bengal which brought disgrace to the state."
Insult to the national anthem is unacceptable, he said.
The BJP's West Bengal president Sukanta Majumdar tweeted: "Bengal CM@MamataOfficial sitting at a Constitution post insults National Anthem at a gathering in Mumbai. Doesn't she know proper National Anthem etiquette, or is she insulting knowingly?"
According to the state BJP unit, its Mumbai counterpart has lodged a police complaint on the matter.
A Trinamool Congress leader said Banerjee did not insult the national anthem, and the BJP is unnecessarily trying to create controversy over the event.
"The BJP, which is plagued with infighting, is trying to make an issue out of a non-issue," TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said.
During her two-day visit to Mumbai, Banerjee met leaders of the Shiv Sena and the NCP, besides noted personalities, intellectuals and industrialists.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)