Bengali film star and Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha candidate Dev raked up a controversy by saying that joining election fray is like getting raped, but after facing flak from women's rights activists and opposition parties he apologised for the comment.
Asked if he was enjoying his time as a contestant from the Ghatal Lok Sabha seat, his hometown in West Midnapore district, Dev, in an interview to a Bengali tabloid, said, "Enjoy....! It's just like being raped 'yaar'! You can shout or you can enjoy. (Laughs) That’s it. What more than that? Anyway when I have come (into politics), let me do the work".
In the interview, the reigning superstar of Bengali films, said, "Eighty to ninety per cent of the media is now focusing on Ghatal. The news that Dev is contesting from Ghatal has become a hot topic. It is nice that a place like Ghatal has also become popular."
The actor however later apologised for the remark saying he didn't mean to offend anyone. "I m new in politics. My heart is clean. No offence meant 2 any1. I respect Maa,sis al women n brothers. Dint mean 2 hurt any1. SINCERE SORRY (sic)," he wrote on Twitter.
The remarks raised the hackles of women's rights activists and political parties including Congress, the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist, who condemned them.
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said that with this comment Dev had shown how politically immature and insensitive he was. "This is the result of fielding actors and singers in election," Chowdhury said.
CPI-M leader Sujon Chakraborty said, "We condemn it in the strictest sense, especially when such a comment has come from a man who is seen as a role model by youngsters". State BJP president Rahul Sinha also condemned the comments and even hinted that they might move the Election Commission over the issue.