Veteran CPI-M leader Anil Basu on Sunday apologised for using foul language against Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at an election meeting, after being asked to do so by the party leadership in Kolkata.
"I apologise for using such language," Basu said in a written statement soon after chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said in a 'Meet the Press' programme in Kolkata that it was unfortunate and Basu has been asked to apologise.
However, though Basu had used the filthy language naming Banerjee, he did not name her in the statement and referred to her as the 'opposition party leader'.
"My careless comments about the opposition party leader at a public meeting in Hooghly was uncalled for. This is against our party's ethos. I have realised the reaction in public mind," the statement signed by Basu said.
Asking Basu, a former MP, to be cautious in future, Bhattacharjee had on Saturday said in a statement that 'use of such words is unpardonable and unbecoming of a Communist leader'.
The chief minister said he had asked the party to warn Basu. "I don't want to hear any such use of words in future."
Basu, who had won the Arambagh seat seven times in a row in the past and recorded the highest margin in the state in a Lok Sabha election in 2004, used expletives against the Trinamool chief in the presence of local party leaders at Arambagh town in Hooghly district on Friday evening.
Protesting against the comments of Basu, Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee said that they gave the chief electoral officer papers and video clippings of Basu's speech and demanded that he be arrested and jailed for the offence."
Chatterjee said, "The way the CPI-M leader attacked a woman is detestable and highly derogatory."