Veteran Trinamool MP Saugata Roy on Sunday termed as “unfair” the way the TMC was being “maligned” by opposition leaders, following the arrest of two of its leaders, and stressed that his party should not be subjected to trial by detractors.
Mr Roy had earlier in the day courted a controversy during a Trinamool meeting in Bengal's North 24 Parganas as he was heard saying in a video clip that “shoes will made by peeling off skin of those who believe they can get away by maligning the party” under the garb of protest.
A video clip of his speech has gone viral on social media.
Deploring the statement, the BJP said such remarks have no place in a democracy.
Speaking with PTI, the TMC MP later said that he should not have made the comment.
“I now believe these comments should not have been made by me. We have nothing against any form of constitutional or democratic protest. But the way TMC is being maligned and our leaders are being called names by the opposition parties, it's unfair... akin to being subjected to trial," Mr Roy said.
He added that expression “peeling off skin to make shoe” was made in an allegorical sense.
“None should also forget the kind of words used by Naxals and the Left against the opposition parties in the 70s and 80s,” Mr Roy stated.
The TMC MP's warning was apparently aimed at BJP and CPI(M) activists who hit the streets, celebrating the arrest of TMC strongman Anubrata Mondal in connection with a cattle smuggling case.
Roy, during the meeting in Kamarhati assembly constituency, was heard saying, "We have been given a decisive mandate till 2026. I am warning the ones maligning TMC under the garb of protests that if they believe they can get away by hatching conspiracy against a people's government in such diabolical manner; (they should know) we will not sit idle.
"We will peel off part of their skins and make shoes out of it. So be mindful of your deeds." Joining Roy, TMC's Kamarhati MLA Madan Mitra, at another meeting in the constituency, said that the ones trying to sling mud on his party “will be accorded befitting treatment with sticks”.
"Start camps and teach them (party workers) how to use of sticks in every neighbourhood. If the conspirators brandish one stick, hit them back with two. Make them realise the power of people so that they don't dare to conspire against a democratic government, a party of Maa-Mati-Manush (mother, land and people)," the MLA insisted.
Reacting to the comments of Roy and Mitra, BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said "such statement by the ruling party leaders have no place in democracy".
"It is beyond the dignity of the BJP to even react to such despicable statements. This is quite unexpected from a person like Roy, who had in past spoken against using the use of unparliamentary words in politics," Mr Bhattacharya said.
BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh claimed these comments show that TMC leaders are now “scared”, with two of their senior colleagues – Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal -- having been sent behind bars.
Echoing him, CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty also said "the more their misdeeds are coming out of closet, the more TMC leaders are making incoherent statements”.
"Such comments, to boost up the sagging spirit of the party's rank and file, will not shield TMC from the mounting anger of public. Many grassroots TMC workers have deep grievances against the party's top brass," Mr Chakraborty added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)