Kolkata, March 12: A privilege motion in the West Bengal assembly against a senior CPI-M lawmaker Anisur Rehman for his indecent remarks at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was disposed off Tuesday after he tendered an unconditional apology in the house.
“I unconditionally apologise before the house and I accept that I have made a mistake,” said the Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) member amidst a surcharged atmosphere after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee moved the privilege motion.
Rehman’s apology was preceded by chaotic scenes as ruling Trinamool Congress members shouted at high decibel levels running him down for his comments and exchanged angry words with opposition Left Front members who were also up on their seats.
Rehman, also a former minister, kicked up a political storm late last December when he made the remarks against the chief minister at a public rally in North Dinajpur district’s Itahar, alleging that her government was “more interested in offering money to rape victims than in taking steps for their security”.
He went on to say: “We have told the chief minister in the assembly that the government will pay money to compensate rape victims. What is your fee? If you are raped,what will be your fee?”
Pulled up by the party bigwigs, Rehman tendered an unconditional apology to the “people of the state including the chief minister” – first by holding a media meet and then while addressing another rally.
However, in the same rally, Rehman let loose another suggestive and indecent barb at Banerjee.
Moving the motion, Chatterjee alleged Rehman had not only insulted Banerjee, a member of the assembly, but also portrayed women in bad light through his comments.
Rehman contended that he had twice aplogised about his comments, but the treasury bench members demanded he apologise before the house.
Once Rehman apologised, Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay disposed off the motion warning Rehman to be more careful in his remarks in future.
Later, Chatterjee told media persons at the assembly press corner that it was unprecedented that a member had to apologise before the house.
“He deserved a more stringent punishment. But since he apologised, we did not carry the matter forward.”