Rape remark: Opposition wants action against Tapas Pal, Mamata `deeply pained`
Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
Kolkata: Amid growing criticism from various quarters, the Trinamool Congress on Tuesday claimed that its chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is deeply pained by Krishnanagar Lok Sabha MP Tapas Pal`s bizarre comment about letting loose rapists on women supporters of the CPI(M) and assured appropriate action will be taken against him.
"The Chief Minister is shattered by the comments. The party has already cautioned him on Monday and demanded a written explanation from him in 48 hours," TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee told mediapersons.
Another TMC leader Mukul Roy said that the party has asked Tapas Pal to tender unconditional apology for his controversial comment.
In the state assembly, the opposition led by Congress staged a walkout over Tapas Pal`s open threat to kill CPI(M) supporters and rape women members of their families.
The Centre also asked the West Bengal government to give a detailed report on the controversial remark made by Pal. Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami directed the West Bengal Chief Secretary to furnish a detailed report on the TMC leader.
The Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M) warned that it will bring a privilege motion against Tapas Pal and said that he has no right to continue as a Member of Parliament.
Congress and the BJP also denounced Pal for such irresponsible statement and said that the West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee must take strict disciplinary action against him.
Speaking to reporters, CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury said, “This is a very serious matter and my party is planning to bring a privilege motion against Tapas Pal in the Parliament.”
Meanwhile, National Commission for Women (NCW)`s chief Mamta Sharma today said that Tapas Pal must be sacked and the West Bengal police must file an FIR against him and take action.
Several women`s organisation today protested against the Trinamool Congress MP for his highly distasteful utterances and demanded action against him. The protesters also questioned Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s silence on the matter.
Earlier, Tapas Pal`s wife apologised for her husband`s distasteful, crass and highly insensitive remarks.
While apologising for her husband`s comments, Nandini Pal said, “Tapas Pal shouldn’t have lost his cool. He should not have used the word rape.”
“He is a good man, he will never support all this, he`s not feeling good, it`s a learning process for us now,” Nandini Pal said.
“What provoked him to speak like that, nobody is trying to find out that. He didn`t have ill intentions, what he said wasn’t good at all, but the other side of story is different,” Nandini further said.
West Bengal Chief Minister has also called a meeting of TMC MPs tomorrow to decide how to deal with this matter. Mamata`s party has given a 48-hour ultimatum to Tapas Pal to file his reply in this case.
Sparking widespread disbelief and disgust, actor-turned-Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal - one of the biggest names in Bengali films for over three decades - was caught on a video threatening to gun down his Marxist rivals and "unleash his boys for raping" women.
However, Tapas Pal later made a U-turn on his brazen, ludicrous and insensitive statement, saying he did not use the word `rape` and instead said `raid`.
The actor-turned-Trinamool Congress MP said that he was misquoted and argued that he had spoken in the heat of the moment.
Bengali news channels on Monday aired Paul, who is Lok Sabha member from Nadia district`s Krishnanagar constituency, warning Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) men to "beware" of him as he won`t "spare them and destroy their entire clan".
"If a CPI-M man dares to touch anybody, Tapas Paul will not spare him. I will take out my gun and shoot him. I always carry a gun... I will destroy his entire clan," Paul is seen in the video telling his party workers in Choumaha village.
"I warn my opponents... If anything happens to my mothers or sisters, my party workers, I will not spare them, I will have the last word. I will make their family pay dearly. I will ask my boys to go there. They will rape them and leave," Paul said with his supporters shockingly cheering the MP`s every word.
"If I hear a single incident, I get a witness, I won`t spare," he is heard saying.
Paul had made outrageous comments during last year`s panchayat poll campaign as well. "The CPI-M is a party of criminals.. beat them up, and drive them out of the villages," he had said.
Joining the league of Trinamool leaders Anubrata Mandal and Manirul Islam - infamous for their hate speeches, Paul is seen in video grab repeatedly warning his opponents and threatening them with dire consequences, with his body language matching his words.
In his clarification. Pal said, “I might have said something in the heat of the moment. But the fact is I don`t roam around with a revolver. And I did not say rape, rather it was `raid`. I had said we will raid but because there was so much of noise, people thought I said rape."
Trinamool spokesperson Derek O`Brien said termed Pal`s remarks "insensitive" and said the party did not "in any way endorse what he said weeks ago."
Paul shot into the limelight in 1980 by playing the title role in the blockbuster comedy "Dadar Kirti (The exploits of Dada (or elder brother))". Since then he has acted in a large number of movies spread over nearly three and a half decades, playing the hero and lately settling for character roles. Some of his famous films are "Abodh" (Hindi) and Bengali hits "Pothbhola", "Bhalobasa Bhaloibasa" and "Saheb".
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