A press conference that was meant to allay controversies surrounding Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit regarding a scandal has resulted in another one for the Governor. A woman journalist who was present at the press conference has alleged that when she pressed for answers for some questions, the Governor chose not to reply and instead patted her on her cheek. The female scribe took to Twitter to vent her anger saying, “I asked TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit a question as his press conference was ending. He decided to patronisingly – and without consent – pat me on the cheek as a reply.”
The journalist, who works for an English magazine, said that she washed her face several times. “Still not able to get rid of it. So agitated and angered Mr Governor Banwarilal Purohit. It might be an act of appreciation by you and grandfatherly attitude. But to me you are wrong,” she said. Dubbing the Tamil Nadu governor’s attitude as “unprofessional behaviour”, the journalist said, “This, moments after he dismissed a barrage of questions about allegations of sexual misconduct against himself. Unprofessional behaviour – and completely uncalled for to touch a stranger without her consent, especially a woman.
In her column published for the magazine, she said she was “angered and agitated”. While narrating the details of the event, she said that she asked Purohit about who was his Tamil teacher to which Purohit chose not to answer. She again asked a question about his views on the performance of the state government and universities. She claimed that the Tamil Nadu governor again evaded the question. Subsequently, he patted on her left cheek and walked away, she claimed while adding that she was “transfixed for a moment” by Purohit’s gesture.
The incident occurred when the 78-year-old Governor was about to leave the venue of a crowded press conference at the Raj Bhavan, which was all set to conclude. The principal opposition party in the state DMK has lashed out at Purohit saying the incident as “unbecoming” of a person holding a Constitutional post. DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi tweeted “even if the intention is above suspicion, a person who holds a public office has to understand that there is a decorum to it and violating a woman journalist’s personal space does not reflect the dignity or the respect which should be shown to any human being.”
Purohit is in the news for all the wrong reasons. This, after a major controversy erupted after a purported audio tape of a conversation involving the principal reportedly makes mention of the Governor’s name more than once.
He had also rejected an allegation that he was being probed for sexual misconduct by the Union Home Ministry as ‘nonsense’ and ‘baseless’ . “It is nonsense, baseless, totally baseless,”