Union Ministers Manish Tewari and Kamal Nath on Wednesday condemned the heckling of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by Left protesters here and appealed to political parties to exercise restraint.
“What happened yesterday should be condemned because such behaviour towards Chief Minister of any state is worthy of criticism and I condemn it,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters.
Terming the incident as “extremely unfortunate”, I&B Minister Manish Tewari said, “Whether it is our friends from the Left, or our friends in Trinamool Congress, or political parties across the length and breadth of this country, everybody needs to exercise restraint.”
“We should not allow violence either in language or in physicality to become a power in the political discourse...
Every political party has a responsibility to maintain the discipline in the political discourse,” he told reporters after presenting Limca Book of Records Awards on completion of 100 years of Indian cinema.
“As someone who has grown up during the street-fighting years of the student movement during the decades of the 70s and 80s, I worry that we should not go back to those days,” he said.
Asked to comment on Ms. Banerjee’s remark that Delhi is not a safe place, Mr. Tewari said, “It is not necessary to comment on the views or reaction of every Chief Minister.”
He maintained that the central government and UPA had nothing to do with yesterday’s incident.
“Whatever happened between the Left and the TMC, neither central government nor the UPA has anything to do with this.
It is a very sad thing. We have already expressed our regret that Sudipta Gupta — SFI activist — is no more with us,” he said.
When asked if there could be difficulty in the smooth functioning of Parliament due to the incident, Mr. Nath said, “We’ll see.”
Protesters from CPI(M) and SFI ambushed the Chief Minister and other ministers, including Finance Minister Amit Mitra, over the death of their comrade Sudipta Gupta in police custody in Kolkata last week.