TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit apologises to journalist after pat on cheek sparks outrage

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Under fire for patting the cheek of a woman journalist, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit today tendered an apology to her.

Referring to the mail the journalist had sent to him Purohit said, “I do understand from your mail that you are feeling hurt about the incident,” Purohit said he therefore wished to “express my regret and my apologies to assuage your sentiments that have been hurt.”

Lakshmi Subramanian, a journalist, when asked him a question during a press conference, the TN governor “patronisingly, and without consent” patted on her cheek.

Political parties and leaders condemned Purohit’s action. On Wednesday, Chennai witnessed protests by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and other opposition parties who demanded that the Governor step down following the allegations.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin said Purohit’s action was “unbecoming of someone who holds a constitutional post.”

Some 200 journalists sent a signed letter to the governor demanding an apology, while the Chennai Press Club and the Network of Women in Media, India condemned his action.

Journalists in Tamil Nadu had written a letter to Governor Banwarilal Purohit demanding a formal apology for his actions.

“Mr Governor, we, the journalists of Tamil Nadu, demand that you offer an unconditional apology to the journalist in question and also assure all journalists of Tamil Nadu that you will not violate their rights in the future,” the letter read.

In a letter to Lakshmi Subramanian, the governor said he patted her out of “affection” and “appreciation” of her performance as a journalist.

“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.” he said.

The journalist took to Twitter to announce that while she accepted the apology, she was not convinced about Purohit’s intention.

Governor Purohit, during the press conference, spoke about a controversy surrounding a professor who allegedly tried to convince women students to take academic and financial assistance from Madurai Kamaraj University officials, in exchange for sexual favours.

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