Kolkata: In a major embarrassment for the West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, some its party workers were caught throwing money on hired women dancers during the party's foundation day function on Tuesday.
Reports, Wednesday, said that party's foundation day function was organised by district level leaders of Trinamool Congress in Bhangore, near Kolkata.
Trinamool zila parishad member Meer Taheer Ali is widely believed to have ranged the women dancers for the celebrations that took place right opposite the local police station.
Though the function in Bhangore triggered a controversy, the party had organized several commemorative programmes across the state to mark Trinamool Congress’ 15th foundation day.
A cornered Trinamool Congress later termed it as an "isolated" incident and said strict action will be taken against any party worker involved.
Defending the party, TMC MP Derek O' Brien said, "Thousands of events marked Trinamool's 16th birthday yesterday and one of these events from these 300 events was an abhorrent incident involving ladies dancing,” adding, ’It was an isolated incident, the strictest action will be taken against any party worker involved".
"Please do not portray this as something endorsed by Trinamool. For Trinamool, cultural sensibilities and gender sensibilities are absolutely paramount. Please be reassured it is not endorsed by anyone from Trinamool Congress....We will find out who were the people indulging in the crass display of gender insensitivity," he said.
Hours later, the disciplinary committee of the party suspended the district level workers who were caught on camera throwing currency notes on hired women dancers.
The incident, which went viral on TV channels, was condemned by various sections of society, including political parties and the women's commission. They expressed their displeasure at the 'vulgar' political culture.
National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma said, "It is shameful that they are celebrating this way. We need a change of mindset among all political parties".
Eminent educationist Sunanda Sanyal said, "The future of young boys and girls will get destroyed if this political culture remains prevalent in West Bengal".
The controversy comes at a time when the entire nation witnessed muted New year celebrations as a mark of respect for the 23-year-old Delhi student who died 13 days after she was brutally gang-raped and tortured by six men in a moving bus.
With PTI Input
First Published: Wednesday, January 02, 2013, 10:17