Buddha gets 48 hrs to apologise

Former CM had questioned Mamata's honesty, TMC sends him a legal notice.

Trinamool Congress has sent a legal notice to former chief minister and CPM politburo member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for his remark questioning the honesty of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The party has threatened to file a criminal defamation suit against the CPM leader unless he tendered an "unconditional apology within 48 hours of receiving the notice".

Bhattacharjee had told a private news channel on Tuesday that he did not view Mamata as an honest person. Bhattacharjee had said: "What was her (Mamata's) family condition earlier, and what is it now, a probe can unravel this. If someone calls her a honest person, I will differ."

Speaking to The Indian Express, lawyer Rajdeep Majumder, who represents the TMC, said: "Mamata Banerjee is our supreme leader and we believe in her ideology. By calling her dishonest Buddhadeb babu has not only defamed her but the party also. He will have to file an unconditional apology or we will file both a criminal and civil suit against him."

Earlier in the day, Trinamool leader and Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim termed the CPM leader's remark "unfair" and ridiculed him by casting "doubt" on his "mental stability". "We demand that he (Buddhadeb) expresses regret and apologises for the statement which involves a person (Mamata Banerjee) who has made selfless sacrifice for the service of the people throughout her life," said Hakim.

"Her (Mamata) honesty is beyond question all over India and people of West Bengal largely rely on her honesty," he said, rejecting the demand of a probe into Mamata's wealth raised by the CPM leader.

Hakim said Bhattacharjee has no right to criticise a "mass leader like Mamata" and listed the "shameful incidents like rape and murder of Tapasi Malik, Dhantala rape, killing of farmers in Nandigram and Singur" that happened when Bhattacharjee was at the helm of the affairs in the state.

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