Pat on cheek: Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit apologises to lady journo, says she is like his granddaughter

CHENNAI: After an outrage over his “ pat on cheek + ” to a woman journalist, Governor on Wednesday offered his regret and apologies to her.
The incident took place in Raj Bhavan on Tuesday when the journalist attending a press meet raised a question as he got up and to leave. “I considered that question to be a good one. Therefore, as an act of appreciation for the question that you had posed, I gave a pat on your cheek considering you to be like my granddaughter,” Purohit said in a mail to the journalist, after a complaint was preferred by the latter to him.

Earlier, the Chennai Press Club had sought an apology from the for his “unbecoming conduct,” as the governor, being the constitutional head of the state, is expected to set an example by his words and actions. “But we are sorry to say, your behaviour in yesterday’s press meet was neither exemplary nor condonable,” a statement said.

In his letter to the woman journalist, the governor said he had a four-decade stint in media. Purohit said the “pat on cheek” was done with affection and to express his appreciation for her performance as a journalist.

“I do understand from your mail that you feel hurt about the incident. I wish to express my regret and my apologies to assuage your sentiments that have been hurt,” Purohit said.

Responding to the governor’s apology, the woman journalist tweeted: “Your Excellency, I have with me your letter dated April 18, 2018, 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.”

On Tuesday, the Raj Bhavan convened a rare press conference in the backdrop of a purported telephonic conversation — an assistant professor in an college — had with her four girl students in which she mentioned the governor. The audio tape went viral on social media after the girls had complained to the authorities that the assistant professor was trying to lure them to offer sexual favours to “higher-ups.”

Purohit denied having met Nirmala Devi.

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