When it came to deciding the fate of her party’s Krishnanagar MP Tapas Paul — currently in the middle of a storm over his rape remark — Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday chose to “accept” his “unconditional apology”.
In a meeting of Trinamool Congress MPs and senior leaders, headed by the CM (although not attended by the erring MP), Paul was let off with a “warning” and advice to “remain cautious and responsible” in the future.
Coming out of the meeting, while others remained tight-lipped before the press, party spokesperson Derek O’Brien said the meeting had been “scheduled about two weeks ago”, suggesting that it was not a result of the controversy erupting since the release of a video footage in which Paul could be seen asking his “boys” to “rape women of CPM workers” if any TMC members were attacked.
“The party has accepted his (Paul’s) unconditional apology and that it was written in the right spirit. She (Mamata) has also told other members to be cautious and responsible about how to speak as public representatives,” O’Brien told reporters. He said the meeting was convened “to plan out district-by-district strategy which obviously cannot be disclosed to the press”.
TMC leaders who attended the meeting later said on condition of anonymity that Mamata has “warned” party leaders to remain cautious about the “media conspiracy”. “If the media gets anything against us, they will blow it up. You never know who is hiding with a camera and where. Your own people might be involved in selling off such stuff that may cause damage to the party. You must remain extra cautious,” a party leader quoted the CM as saying.
Mamata also reportedly urged the elected representatives to “explain” to the people in their respective constituencies to focus on the ‘unconditional apology” tendered by the Paul. All TMC MPs, MLAs and district presidents attended the meet.
PIL seeks FIR against TAPAS
Kolkata: A PIL was filed before the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday seeking suo motu registration of FIR by the West Bengal Police and penal action against Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul who is in the eye of a storm over his rape remarks made at a rally.
Samit Sanyal, a lawyer, filed the petition before the high court, praying that the state police take suo motu action and register an FIR against Paul, who has tendered a written apology to his party and the media for his remarks.
He prayed that the court take cognizance of the MP’s comments and direct the West Bengal government to take action against Paul, senior counsel Subrata Mukhopadhyay, who would represent Sanyal in court, said.
It was also prayed before the court that as Paul said the incident occurred during the campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the EC be asked to take action. (PTI)