Kolkata: West Bengal was stunned Monday after Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul was caught on a video threatening to gun down his Marxist rivals and "unleash his boys for raping" women. He denied making the comments, saying he had spoken in the heat of the moment.
A Bengali news channel telecast Paul, from Krishnanagar constituency, of warning Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) men to "beware" of him as he won't "spare them and destroy their entire clan".
"If a CPI-M man dares to touch anybody, Tapas Paul will not spare him. I will take out my gun and shoot him. I always carry a gun... I will destroy his entire clan," Paul is heard telling his party workers in Choumaha village.
"I warn my opponents... If anything happens to my mothers or sisters, my party workers, I will not spare them, I will have the last word. I will make their family pay dearly. I will ask my boys to go there. They will rape them and leave," says Paul, as his supporters cheered his every word.
Paul is heard repeatedly warning his opponents and threatening them with dire consequences.
"They have beaten up a little child, a mother, a sister. All the villagers of Choumaha, who are now with the opposition, I again warn them. I will be in Krishnanagar, and return to Choumaha every month.
"If I hear a single incident, I get a witness, I won't spare," Paul is heard saying.
As the Trinamool distanced itself from his comments and the opposition protested loudly, the actor-turned-politician later claimed that he never referred to rape.
"I might have said something in the heat of the moment. But the fact is I don't roam around with a revolver. And I did not say rape, rather it was 'raid'.
"I had said we will raid but because there was so much of noise, people thought I said rape," said Paul.
Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said the party does not endorse Paul's views.
"Neither we nor the party endorses his views but then it has to be seen in what context he has said those words. It needs to be seen if any of the people or women were subjected to any attack," he said.