Indian state minister: No mingling with opposition

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An Indian state minister says his party's members should keep their daughters from marrying or even mingling with opposition supporters.

West Bengal Food Minister Jyotipriya Mallik's call to shun members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was widely seen as taking the state's testy politics to a new level of acrimony.

He told hundreds of party workers Sunday: "Don't give your daughters to CPM homes in marriage ... Don't sit next to CPM workers. Don't even talk to them if you meet them at local tea stalls."

Communist leader Mohammad Salim on Tuesday called the comments an "atrocious and ridiculous" attempt to promote enmity.

Mallik's Trinamool Congress party routed the Communists in elections last year, ending 34 years of Communist rule.