Actor-turned-Trinamool Congress (AITC) contestant Koushani Mukherjee courted controversy on 3 April as a video with her purported comment “please think before you cast votes; you have mother, sister at home” went viral.
Koushani, who had joined AITC two months ago ― and is in the fray in Krishnagar seat ― claimed that a part of her comment was taken out of context and put in the video by “BJP’s IT cell” to give it a different meaning.
Ritesh Tiwari of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cited the video to suggest that AITC candidate Koushani Mukherjee was openly threatening voters of his party.
“I had sought to project the fact that Bengal is the safest state for women, unlike BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh where women were raped in Hathras and their parents were shot at for protesting. The BJP IT cell edited the footage for cheap politics,” Mukherjee said in a statement.
Mukherjee posted a video of what she claimed was her original comment on her Facebook page in which she is seen walking in her constituency canvassing for votes and telling voters “Think twice before voting for BJP, you have your mother and sisters at home”.
Mukherjee is heard saying “In Didi’s Bengal, women are safe. Don’t vote for the BJP if you don’t want Bengal to turn into another Hathras in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.”
Actress-turned-politician and BJP leader Rupa Bhattacharya hit out at Mukherjee in a post, saying “The utterances of the so-called actress-turned-politicians like you make our heads hang in shame.”
“An actress should have a refined taste… If you think that by making such an ugly comment you will endear yourself to Trinamool Congress workers, rest assured they will hate your hypocrisy from the bottom of their heart,” Bhattacharya said.
West Bengal minister Sashi Panja of the Trinamool Congress said part of Mukherjee’s comments were kept in the edited video but not the entire footage.