Kolkata: Actor-turned BJP leader Joy Banerjee on Wednesday apologised for his controversial remark that "Election Commission is in our hands" and said he uttered the words in over-enthusiam and believed that the CEC is the protector and pillar of democracy.
Banerjee's apology followed his visit to the state chief electoral officer, accompanied by BJP state president Rahul Sinha, after the EC asked party president Amit Shah to explain by September 25 Banerjee's remark that the poll panel was now under the party's control.
"Sir, I believe that the CEC is the protector of democracy and the pillar of democracy. Hence, I apologise for the words I uttered in over-enthusiam and beg you to pardon me. Let me tell you sir I am neither a office-bearer nor any executive of the BJP state committee," Banerjee said in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner through state CEO.
"In that meeting, I tried to say that the Assembly elections would be by CEC and would be impartial and free from rigging. But because of my non-selection of words it came out otherwise," Banerjee stated in the letter.
Sinha later told reporters that he was a film actor and had joined politics only a year back.
"He (Banerjee) does not have much experience. It was his slip of tongue. BJP has full respect for democracy and democratic institutions," Sinha said, adding that a letter to this effect was submitted to the EC.
Banerjee had told a public meeting at Mayureswar in Birbhum on September 20, "They (TMC) had defeated us by cheating. But in the coming Assembly election it will not be possible as it will be held under Army vigilance and the Election Commission is in our hands."
In a letter to Shah yesterday, the Commission referred to the purported remarks of Banerjee and also to his remarks on the security arrangements for the Assembly polls in the state due next year.