If West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is to be believed, the campaign against Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal is but a “part of a conspiracy hatched by a section of the media against the party”.
Speaking at a meeting in state capital Kolkata, Banerjee urged her party members to be careful of using profanities, lest they too find themselves in soup. However, not a word was said about any punishment to the MP from Krishnanagar for his remarks.Read: Prez’s son ditches party line to shield TapasRead: Trinamool asks Tapas Pal to tender apology for rape remark
“Let me tell you I don’t support the politics of obscenities,” said the chief minister. “At the same time, let me also warn you to keep distance with a section of the media who are out to malign us. They have placed people who recorded the speeches on cell phones. News is being sold anywhere between Rs. 50,000- 1lakh.”
All party members, including MLAs and zila sabhadhipatis were present in the closed-door meeting held at the Trinamool Bhavan on EM Bypass in eastern Kolkata. The only notable exception was Pal himself. The media was not allowed anywhere near the venue.
Read | HT poll results: you rightly predicted that Pal will get away unpunished for his rape remark
That Pal would go scot-free was evident on Tuesday itself, when Banerjee came out in his defence after he submitted an unconditional apology for his remarks in a Nadia village, threatening to send his men out to rape and murder supporters of the CPI(M). A PIL was filed in the Calcutta high court against the Trinamool Congress MP and the Opposition upped its ante as it became clear that action against him was unlikely to be taken by the party. “By talking of media conspiracy the CM is actually endorsing Pal’s statements,” said state BJP president Rahul Sinha.Read: In new video Tapas Pal threatens to 'publicly behead' CPI(M) menLok Sabha MP and CPI(M) central committee member Md Salim echoed similar sentiments. “The police promptly arrests anyone who forwards a cartoon or asks a question. But in the case of Tapas Pal, an apology is enough. Mamata Banerjee has become both the jury and the judge.”.
HT Edit: Sorry, but Tapas Pal may get away with rape remark
(With PTI inputs)