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1-min read

Minister Shows Kolkata's 'Mini-Pakistan' to Dawn Journo, Sparks Outrage

Already facing flak after the Narada sting operation, Hakim could not reached for his reaction.

CNN-News18

Updated:April 30, 2016, 2:05 PM IST
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Kolkata: West Bengal Urban Development Minister Bobby Firhad Hakim has triggered a controversy during the assembly polls by referring to Kolkata’s port area - Garden Reach - as mini-Pakistan to a journalist from Pakistan.

"Please come along and let us take you to mini-Pakistan in Kolkata," Hakim reportedly told The Dawn reporter Maleeha Hamid Siddiqui during a campaign rally in Garden Reach in Kolkata.

Already facing flak after the Narada sting operation, Hakim defended and said, "BJP is trying to play communal politics. I was intentionally targeted because I am a Muslim. I would not like to comment much in to the matter as it is against my policies."

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee nephew and MP Abhishek Banerjee said, "It is a political conspiracy to malign the image of party leaders. The media is making an issue out of nothing. We live in a society where people of all castes and religion stay together. His words have been misinterpreted."

BJP leader Bengal Siddharth Nath Singh condemned Hakim's remark and said, "This is unfortunate. Bobby Hakim was involved in several controversies even in the past. He is a close aide of Mamata Banerjee. We condemn this and urge the electorate not to give a single vote to Bobby Hakim."

"A leader in his position making such comments is absolutely shameful," he added.

Maleeha's report with a headline - Canvassing in 'mini-Pakistan' of Kolkata - published in the Dawn's web-edition on Friday.

The article was widely shared on social media.

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