"If questions arise of listing them, Banerjee has to stand in front of all, he said. In the absence of strong action or punishment against such offences, rise in such hate speeches will continue to take place."
Kolkata, July 2 - With West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress content with its MP Tapas Paul's apology for his rape remarks, opposition parties Wednesday targeted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her inaction in the case.

State Congress president and former union minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused Banerjee of shamelessly shielding her proteges.

Leader of Opposition and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) veteran Surjya Kanta Mishra held the Trinamool chief equally responsible for the remarks that have attracted nationwide condemnation.

Because of Banerjee's direct and indirect indulgence, her leaders, one after the other are wreaking havoc across Bengal. When the whole country is expressing disgust and condemnation, this shameless chief minister is unabashedly shielding her proteges, said Chowdhury.

Bengal's politics is now characterised by a shameless chief minister and her unabashed proteges, said Chowdhury even as the Trinamool asserted the matter has ended with Paul tendering an apology.

The Trinamool, which had announced that Banerjee will take a decision Wednesday, held a strategic meeting during the day.

Quizzed by the media about the party's decision regarding Paul, Trinamool's Rajya Sabha member Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said the matter ends with Paul's unconditional apology.

Tapas Paul offered an unconditional apology to the members of the party, women of Bengal and people of the nation in his letter. The party has accepted his apology in spirit. The matter ends there, he told the media here after the meeting.

Party spokesperson Derek O'Brien too reiterated that the matter ends with Paul's apology.

Claiming that such hate speeches were not new in Bengal, CPI-M leader Mishra said Banerjee will be at the forefront if one were to make a list of such speeches.

If questions arise of listing them, Banerjee has to stand in front of all, he said. In the absence of strong action or punishment against such offences, rise in such hate speeches will continue to take place.

There has been a countrywide clamour for arresting Paul as well as expelling him from parliament.


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