A West Bengal Civil Service executive has courted controversy by comparing Swami Vivekananda with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying that he gets recharged and derives strength when he stands before the photographs of either of them.
Speaking at a relief distribution programme in North 24 Parganas district, Hasnabad Block Development Officer (BDO) Arindam Mukherjee made the remarks by pointing at Ms Banerjee's photograph on the stage.
"You see this photograph of madam... if you stand before it for two minutes every morning, you will get some peculiar strength. I myself stand before two photos, one of Swami Vivekananda, the other of madam. I get some novel life force, I get recharged," said Mr Mukherjee.
He later defended his comments before the media.
"She is a great achiever. If you stand before her, you too will get inspiration," said Mr Mukherjee.
BJP's Basirhat organisational district president Ganesh Ghosh lashed out at the BDO and asked him to come out on the streets holding ruling Trinamool Congress' flag.
"The Chief Minister is now running the state through bureaucrats like such BDOs and the police. It is an open secret. The government is being run by the police, BDO, SDO and DM," he said.
"Why aren't they coming out holding the flag of the Trinamool when they are actually working for the party? He (Mukherjee) has only confirmed what we have been saying all along," he said.
Trinamool leader Firoz Kamal Gazi, however, defended Mukherjee.
"Every person has his own sentiments. Despite being an administrative officer, he can have his own sentiments. He can have respect and love for didi's (as Banerjee is affectionately called) work. He has expressed this in his own way," Mr Gazi said.