Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who triggered a massive controversy after he patted the cheek of a female journalist, on Wednesday apologised for his “unprofessional behaviour”.
“…I gave a pat on your cheek considering you to be like my granddaughter. It was done with affection and to express my appreciation for your performance as a journalist since I was also a member of that profession for about 40 years,” the Governor wrote in an apology letter to the journalist.
The journalist, though, accepted the apology but said that she was not convinced about his contention.
“Your Excellency, I have with me your letter expressing regret at what happened at the press conference in Chennai the previous day. I accept your apology, even though I am not convinced about your contention that you did it to appreciate a question I asked,” she tweeted along with the Governor’s apology letter.
Your Excellency, I have with me your letter expressing regret at what happened at the press conference in Chennai the previous day. I accept your apology, even though I am not convinced about your contention that you did it to appreciate a question I asked @TheWeekLive pic.twitter.com/JhjPOQy8UW— Lakshmi Subramanian (@lakhinathan) April 18, 2018
On Tuesday, the 78-year-old Governor set off a firestorm by patting the cheek of a senior journalist without her consent during a press conference organised by him after his name was linked with a Tamil Nadu teacher who was arrested for allegedly trying to persuade students to yield to sexual urges of high a senior university official.
However, the ‘uninvited’ gesture of the Governor didn’t go down well with the lady, who took to Twitter to express her anguish.
“I asked TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit a question as his press conference was ending. He decided to patronisingly – and without consent – pat me on the cheek as a reply,” she tweeted.
The gesture by Purohit was condemned by the journalist fraternity. They said that the Governor crossed the lines of basic courtesy and committed a non-bailable criminal offence.
“Even if your gesture is paternal in nature, touching a lady without her consent is a crime under the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 1998,” the letter further stated.
Purohit, a former BJP leader, was appointed as Governor of Assam in August 2016. He later went on to become the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Purohit also holds the post of Chancellor of prestigious Anna University.