Under pressure from the party, Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul tendered an unconditional apology for his speech at a rally in Nadia district on June 14, where he allegedly threatened to kill CPM workers and have his men rape their family members.
Paul, who has come under attack from across the political spectrum, said in a letter Tuesday: “Some remarks made by me in the heat and dust of the election campaign have caused dismay and consternation. I apologise unreservedly for them. Whatever the provocation — and there was an attempt at provocation — those comments should never have been made.”
He said that in making such comments, he had let down his constituents, the people of Bengal, his party, political colleagues as well as his family and friends. “I apologise to all of them, and particularly to all the women in our society and to those in the media who highlighted the issue,” he said.
Party general secretary, Mukul Roy, meanwhile, said TMC chief and West Bengal CM, Mamata Banerjee was pained and shocked at the incident. “The party has taken a stand. It thinks such comments are not proper for society,” Roy said, adding that the TMC has sought an explanation from Paul.
Asked if the party would take any action against Paul, he said, “It is the affair between the MP and the party. Why should it be made public?” Roy also lauded the TMC, saying there was no instance of any other political party taking action against a member within 24 hours. “TMC chairperson was pained and shocked to hear his comments. He was asked to issue an unconditional apology. The party will ensure this kind of incident does not happen again. Mamata Banerjee has always stood by women who had been victims of violence. We hold high regards for women,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry sought a detailed report from the West Bengal government about Paul’s comments, a ministry official said.
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.