New Delhi: A huge controversy has been sparked by Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal's comment that party workers would be sent to rape women from the Opposition. Addressing a rally in West Bengal in May, Tapas Pal said he would not spare anyone who tried to challenge him.
His speech has sparked massive outrage across party lines. With demands for his resignation growing louder, the TMC was forced to act. The party has asked Pal to give an explanation for his remarks within 48 hours. The party has already said it doesn't endorse his comments.
However, speaking to CNN IBN, Tapas Pal said he never used the word rape. He claims to have said 'raid' instead. "I never said rape. I said raid. I said they should raid all the people and places, including women and old," Pal said claiming that the Opposition was trying to defame him.
Pal was earlier quoted saying, "If CPM tries to kill and intimidate our workers here, I will not spare them. I will ask our boys to go and rape CPM women if necessary."
His party distanced itself from the comment calling it 'insensitive' remark. "This happened in May. The tape surfaced today. It doesn't matter when it was said. I haven't spoken to him yet. The party is clear, we do not endorse it. It is an insensitive statement," said TMC leader Derek O'Brien.
West bengal minister Partha Chatterjee said, "Where did he say this? I will have to check. If he has said this, then the party does not support such remarks."
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata banerjee is now under pressure to sack him. "Mamata Banerjee needs to suspend him, she should throw him out. Why hasn't the police yet registered a case against him? The police can take suo motu action and register a case against him immediately. Mamata should break her silence and throw this man out. Insensitive comments like these should be stopped by politicians," said former IPS officer Kiran Bedi.
BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "It is a bizarre remark. It is unthinkable that a person like him would say something like this. The question needs to be asked to Mamata Banerjee if she would endorse such statements and what action would be taken."
"There is no place for enmity in politics. He should justify his statement, so should the party," said Congress leader Manish Tewari.
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat also called for action against Pal. "This is completely unacceptable, the Lok Sabha Speaker must take suo motu note of the remark. Why is the Bengal CM who is so vocal on all issues silent on this," she asked.