Kalyan Banerjee attacks Dhankhar again, claims mimicry fundamental right of expression

The TMC MP, suspended from the Lok Sabha along with several others from both houses of Parliament, said the right to dissent and protest is also a fundamental right

File photo of TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee (source: Facebook/Kalyan Banerjee)
File photo of TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee (source: Facebook/Kalyan Banerjee)
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PTI

Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee, in the eye of a storm over his mimicry of vice-president and Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on the premises of the Parliament complex, has attacked the latter again, claiming that mimicry is a form of expression and a "fundamental right".

The TMC MP, who was suspended from the Lok Sabha along with several others from both houses of Parliament, said the right to dissent and protest is also a fundamental right.

"Right to expression is a fundamental right," Banerjee, a senior advocate, said, while addressing a programme on Sunday in his constituency Serampore in West Bengal's Hooghly district. "Mimicry is a right, an expression, it is a fundamental right," he said, asserting that nobody can "destroy" it.

Banerjee mimicked Dhankhar — who is also a senior advocate and was governor of West Bengal from 2019-22 — during the Opposition's protest on the steps of Parliament on 19 December against the suspension of nearly 150 MPs, drawing strong condemnation from the ruling BJP. The Rajya Sabha chairman termed the act as "shameful, ridiculous and unacceptable".

On Monday, Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal backed Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, who was seen recording Banerjee's act on his mobile phone on the Parliament premises during the winter session.

Meanwhile, the Serampore MP, speaking at the programme in his constituency, accused Dhankhar of "throttling the opposition to please the ruling dispensation at the Centre".

"How much will you bend? How much do you want to please Narendra Modi and the BJP?" the TMC MP said.

Accusing Dhankhar of being engrossed with himself while adorning a Constitutional position, Banerjee, shaking his hands and body in a rapid manner in an apparent repeat of his performance, said he should look at the country instead.

Needless to add, the entire incident has taken on an edge owing to the troubled relationship between the TMC-led West Bengal government and Dhankhar during his stint as governor.

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