Facing widespread flak from the civil society and police complaint for his distasteful comments about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, senior CPI-M leader Gautam Deb on Monday issued an apology.
Speaking at a rally organised by the Left students unions on Sunday, Deb had launched a vitriolic attack on Banerjee, calling her names and even raising questions about her personal life.
Deb's comments drew sharp reaction from writers, theatre personalities and writers, who said his comments had "shamed everybody" and asked the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) to make him withdraw the remarks.
On Monday, a complaint was lodged at Netaji Nagar police station – under whose jurisdiction Sunday's meeting was held – against Deb, a former state minister. Another complaint was registered at Uttarpara police station in Hooghly district.
Addressing a public meeting during the day, Banerjee responded by saying "One should do one's politics, but should not spread canards."
Majority of the student organisations which had convened Sunday's meeting also disassociated themselves from the remarks. "We don't approve of such indecent attacks," they said in a joint statement.
Coming under pressure from various quarters, Deb issued a statement on Monday night, expressing regret for his remarks.
Deb conceded that what he had said was "akin to a personal attack".
"It was not my objective to launch a personal attack. I am sorry for this."