Kolkata: Just ahead of the 5th phase of voting in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s influential minister Firhad Hakim triggered controversy apparently to woo Muslim vote bank. Hakim, in an interview to a Pakistan journo, tagged the ‘Garden Reach’ locality as ‘Mini Pakistan’.
His remark outburst anger among the oppositions after Pak’s ‘The Dawn’ newspaper’s front-page headline reads, “Canvassing in mini Pakistan of Kolkata”.
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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Chandra Bose sought Hakim’s removal from TMC party and even filed a complaint to the Election Commission.
The Dawn reporter Maleeha Hamid Siddique attended a rally held by the TMC leader Firhad Hakim, where while talking to the journalist, he went on to mention Garden Reach locality as Mini Pakistan.
He said, “Please come along and witness ‘Mini Pakistan’ over here.”
When Siddique was asked about the same, she said, “Seeing me loitering around with my notebook in hand, the men in the neighbourhood want to know what TV channel I work for. When I tell them I am from Pakistan, they break into broad smiles and tell me of their relatives who live back home.”