06:09 PM,Sep 17,2010
Kolkata, Sep 17 (PTI): A West Bengal Pradesh Congress meeting to empower party president Sonia Gandhi to appoint WBPCC functionaries turned stormy today following a faux pas by senior party leader Virendra Katariya that former PCC chief Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi was "not in our midst". Katariya, who is PRO for the PCC elections, was giving a summing-up speech at the meeting when he made a reference to Dasmunshi and said, "woh hamarey darmiyan nahi hai (he is not in our midst)."
The remark drew immediate protest from Dasmunshi's wife Deepa, an MP from Raiganj, who said such a comment was insensitive towards a senior leader like her husband. Some senior state Congress leaders in the audience, also stood up in protest and demanded that Katariya withdraw his comment. A visibly-embarrassed Katariya quickly apologised. With a section of Congressmen continuing the protest, WBPCC chief Manas Bhuina ended the meeting abruptly by singing the national anthem. Dasmunshi was Information and Broadcasting Minister when he suffered a stroke on October 13, 2008 and has remained bedridden since.