President's son defends Tapas Pal, says it was 'slip of tongue'

Kolkata: President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee, who once courted controversy for a sexist remark, has now sprung to the defence of Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul seeking forgiveness for the latter's rape comments.

"Tapas has written an apology letter. I feel since he has apologised and his party has pardoned him, the debate should not be dragged any further," Abhjiit, a Congress MP from West Bengal's Jangipur, told media persons here.

 Presidents son defends Tapas Pal, says it was slip of tongue

Abhijit Mukherjee. PTI

Mukherjee junior even went on to describe Paul's comments, which have triggered a nationwide outrage and disgust, as "slip of tongue".

"At times, such slips of tongue happen although it shouldn't happen. Many of us have made similar mistakes in the past. I hope such things don't get repeated in future," said Mukherjee, who had to apologise for describing women protestors demonstrating against the Dec 16, 2012 gang-rape in Delhi as "highly dented and painted".

Incidentally, several of his senior party leaders, including state unit president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, have slammed Paul and demanded his arrest.

Chowdhury also launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for "shamelessly shielding her protege".

Paul, an MP from Bengal's Krishnanagar, has been caught on tape exhorting his party workers to kill Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists even as he himself asserted that he would gun down his rivals and let loose his boys to rape their women.

Notwithstanding the countrywide clamour for Paul's arrest and expulsion from parliament, the Trinamool has sought to end the matter with an apology which he tendered to his party and the media Tuesday.

Meanwhile, CPI-M Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury has written to the Lok Sabha speaker seeking referral of Paul's "misconduct" to the Committee of Ethics for "suitable punitive action".

IANS

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Updated Date: Jul 03, 2014 19:05:09 IST