Kolkata: A Trinamool Congress MLA was caught on camera on Sunday attending a phone call on her mobile during the national anthem at a sports event in Howrah.
Notably, Vaishali Dalmiya is the daughter of late Jagmohan Dalmiya, the former president of International Cricket Council and Board of Cricket Council of India.
Other attendees at Commissioner Cup, a Football tournament organised by Belur Police Station, were seen singing the anthem out loud with hand on heart.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, took a dig at the Mamata Banerjee-led party, saying the entire development was ironic, as the National Anthem had emerged from West Bengal itself.
Branding the incident as unfortunate, BJP leader Nalin Kohli told ANI that more than the law, what was important was respecting the national sentiment.
"If we do not show respect to our own national anthem and flag, then what kind of a country are we. And it`s even more ironical happening from a TMC leader, because after all, it is Rabindranath Tagore ji who penned it. And the national anthem emerges from Bengal," he said.
Section 3 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 states: “Whoever intentionally prevents the singing of the Indian National Anthem or causes disturbances to any assembly engaged in such singing shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years, or with fine, or both.”
Watch the video here:
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 19, 2016
This not the first incident when a politician came under the radar for talking over a phone during the national anthem. Earlier, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah faced a huge backlash for talking on a phone while the national anthem was being played.