"Mahua, You Have To...": Mamata Banerjee's Stern Message For MP

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that Karimpur, Mahua Moitra's assembly seat before she became an MP, "is not your place"

'Mahua, You Have To...': Mamata Banerjee's Stern Message For MP

Mahua Moitra has built support in Karimpur but has been battling friction with local leaders

New Delhi:

Mamata Banerjee today appeared to rebuke her party MP Mahua Moitra publicly as she addressed a gathering of the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata today.

While discussing the party's position in Nadia district, which is Mahua Moitra's home turf, Mamata Banerjee said, "Mahua, you have to work with them and give time. Whether someone is given a position or not, that is not your point. How we will adjust everyone is something that the party will decide. But you must give the party time."

The Chief Minister added that Karimpur, Mahua Moitra's assembly seat before she became an MP, "is not your place".

"Karimpur will be looked after by Abu Taher. Abu Taher will look after it. You look after your Lok Sabha seat and that area," she told the MP.

Mahua Moitra was not the focus of Mamata Banerjee's meeting; the Trinamool chief was discussing every district.

Sources say Ms Moitra has managed to build support in Karimpur but she has been battling friction with local leaders, which, the party fears, could damage its support base.

A video last December of Ms Banerjee's public snub to Ms Moitra on the Nadia infighting went viral.

Many say Ms Moitra, a high-profile MP of the Trinamool, has been in the doghouse with her party boss because of her comments in the Goddess Kali controversy. She had been asked for a reaction on a controversial poster shared by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, which featured the Goddess smoking.

Ms Moitra had said she had every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a "meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess" as every person has the right to worship God in their own way.

The comments, and the controversy that followed, did not go down well with some leaders of the party who said in a country where religion is taken so seriously, it gives the opposition BJP an issue to target the Trinamool with.

The Trinamool distanced itself from the comments and even condemned them.

But Mamata Banerjee appeared to back Ms Moitra when she said at the time: "people make mistakes but they can be rectified".

"We make mistakes while working but they can be rectified. Some people don't see all the good work and suddenly start shouting... Negativity affects our brain cells so let's think positively," she said.

When the BJP demanded her arrest for "hurting religious sentiments", she tweeted: "I do not want to live in an India where BJP's monolithic patriarchal Brahminical view of Hinduism will prevail and the rest of us will tiptoe around religion. I will defend this till I die. File your FIRs - will see you in every court in the land. I challenge the BJP anywhere in the country to prove anything that I said is wrong."