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Published On: Thu, Apr 19th, 2018

Journalist accepts TN Governor’s apology for pat on cheek

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rajyapal_chhedchhadCHENNAI : Governor on Wednesday apologised to a woman reporter whose cheek he publicly patted on Tuesday, a gesture that provoked outrage by her and the journalist fraternity and protests by opposition parties.

In a letter to Lakshmi Subramanian, the 78-year-old under-fire governor said she was like her “granddaughter” and that his gesture stemmed from “affection” and “appreciation” of her performance as a journalist.
Subramanian, who works for an English news magazine, responded to the governor’s letter with an e-mail where she accepted his apology but said that she was not convinced about Purohit’s contention that he did it to appreciate a question she had asked.

Purohit had kicked up a huge row on Tuesday when he patted the journalist on her cheek “patronisingly”, apparently to diplomatically avoid replying to a question asked by her.

A livid Subramanian immediately took to Twitter to voice her anger, saying, “I asked TN Governor a question as his press conference was ending. He decided to patronisingly – and without consent – pat me on the cheek as a reply.”

Subramanian also wrote an e-mail to him, saying “Here is what I have to say his excellency Governor Mr .. so agitated… Mr Purohit. it might be an act of appreciation by you and grandfatherly attitude, but to me you are wrong.”

The journalist fraternity took umbrage against the governor’s conduct, with the and some 200 journalists remonstrating with Purohit for his conduct and demanding an apology.
The DMK, which had denounced the governor’s action, on Wednesday staged protest and demanded his recall. Pro-Tamil outfit Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi too held a demonstration.

In his letter to Subramanian, the governor said he thought a question she had asked was a “good one”, and as an act of appreciation for the query he gave her a pat.

“I gave a pat on your cheek considering you to be like my granddaughter. It was done with affection and to express my appreciation for your performance as a journalist,” he said and recalled he was also a journalist for about 40 years.

The incident happened during a rare press meet called by Purohit where he promised strict action in the episode involving a woman college teacher who allegedly advised girl students to extend sexual favours to senior university officials.
Purohit also categorically denied any association with the college professor arrested for suggesting her students extend sexual favors to university officials in exchange for academic and financial rewards.
Further, Purohit ruled out his resignation over the matter. Meanwhile, as political parties demanded a probe into the matter, the Police chief ordered the transfer of the case involving an alleged attempt at sexual trafficking of college students by a professor to the Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department (CBCID).

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