A prominent West Bengal Communist Party of India- Marxist leader Anisur Rahman embarrassed his party and kicked up a political storm for making obscene remarks against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee before apologising, with Trinamool Congress submitting a privilege notice and threatening to slap a legal notice on him.
"He has used words about a woman which cannot be told. It has tarnished the culture of Bengal and lowered our heads," TMC leader and industry and parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters.
"Such use of foul language is unheard of in the political history of Bengal," said Chatterjee who submitted video and newspaper clippings about the comments made at a rally at Itahar in North Dinajpur district on Wednesday to the assembly secretary along with the privilege notice.
"We hope the Speaker will take up the matter. We will demand appropriate punishment," he said.
Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee said, "I feel ashamed to think that he was a minister in the erstwhile Left Front government. People will know whom they have sent to the assembly. Does he not have sisters at home?"
Counsel for Trinamool Congress, Rajdeep Majumdar, told PTI that a legal notice would be sent to the CPM headquarters and to the CPM leader seeking an unconditional apology within 48 hours.
"If the apology is not tendered, we will file a defamation suit before the appropriate court," Majumdar said.
Rahman, however, later in the evening tendered an apology for his remarks.
"For the last 21 years I have been an MLA in the state. I have never said anything like this before and this will not happen again in future. I apologise before all the people of the state," Rahman, deputy leader of the CPM in the House, said reading out a statement before the media and leaving without taking any question.
Disapproving Rahman's remark, CPM state secretariat member Shyamal Chakraborty said, "Anisur has not done the right thing by making such comments. He is not that sort of man. I will inquire why he suddenly made such a comment. He will be summoned."
"A responsible leader should not make such comments about any woman, not only the chief minister," he said.
To a question, he said that the party had earlier disapproved the remarks of party leader from Hooghly district, Anil Basu and former minister Sushanta Ghosh for their remarks against the chief minister.
"Anil Basu is no longer in the party. He is already expelled," he said.
Condemning the remarks, WBPCC President and party MP Pradip Bhattacherjee said "It is vulgar. If such language is used by a person then where is difference between civilised persons and brutes?"
BJP leader Tathagata Roy said "It does not speak well of Bengal's culture and I strongly condemn it."