Kolkata: He is easily the brightest star in Mamata Banerjee's list of 42 candidates for West Bengal. But celluloid superstar Dev is now hogging the limelight for all the wrong reasons. He has, in a newspaper interview, gone and compared the whole experience of campaigning and all the media attention to being raped.
Opposition parties and women's rights activists have slammed Dev for insensitivity.
Dev tweeted last evening saying sorry but the damage had been done.
In the interview to a Bengali newspaper that appeared on Monday, the third question Dev was asked was about the media attention he was getting because of his candidature for Trinamool. He was asked the question, "Are you enjoying it?"
"Enjoy?" he says. "It's just like being raped. You can shout or you can enjoy it."
Opposition parties are shocked and derisive. "It clearly vindicates the immaturity, the insensitivity of the Trinamool aspirant who has been pushed in the electoral arena by the more insensitive, the more immature leader, probably the Chief Minister of West Bengal," said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, state Congress chief.
"I am shocked. This is not a culture of West Bengal, nor the culture of politics," said Manoj Bhattacharya of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP).
Women's rights activist Ratnaboli Roy wrote on Facebook "He is not just letting more than half the population of our country down, he is challenging our democracy."
Late Monday evening, Dev tweeted from the handle @idevadhikari, "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."