A viral video clip from Saturday showing Tripura Sports Minister Manoj Kanti Deb publically touching his female colleague on the waist while he was on stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an inauguration function, has called on outrage from opposition parties which have demanded that he be fired and charged with sexual harassment.
The video was of the event where PM Narendra Modi inaugurated projects during a rally in Agartala on Saturday that was also attended by Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb.
In the viral clip, the authenticity of which cannot be confirmed by Newsd, Manoj Kanti Deb of the BJP can be seen touching social welfare and social education minister Santana Chakma in an “indecent manner”.
Sports Minister of Tripura Manoj Kanti Deb touching inappropriately, sexually harassing Social Welfare Minister Santona Chakma yesterday in front of @narendramodi If a woman Minister is not safe in front of PM thn how others can?? https://t.co/vYDMP3MjSk
— Simmi Ahuja (@SimmiAhuja_) February 10, 2019
As soon as the video went viral, Tripura’s opposition Left Front on Monday demanded that minister Monoj Kanti Deb be sacked for “touching” the woman in an “indecent manner”.
Other local parties in Tripura are also planning protests soon to demand the resignation and arrest of the minister.
The women’s wing of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), AIDWA, has organised a protest in Agartala against Manoj Kanti Deb.
Meanwhile, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party dismissed the allegations, while hitting out at the Left Front for “character assassination”
BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said the Left Front, after raking up non-issues against the BJP government, has “started character assassination of BJP ministers on false and non-issue matters”.
“The woman minister has never made any statement and complaint on the issue raised by the Left parties. Why are the Left parties doing these dirty politics?” he asked.
When contacted by IANS, Deb, who holds the Food, Youth Affairs and Sports portfolios, said over the phone that he had no comments on this issue.
Deb’s reactions to the video varied across portals. To one, he claimed it may have happened by mistake, while he alleged ‘doctoring’ to another.