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Om Puri Apologises For Controversial Remarks Against Politicians

PTI 29 Aug 2011, 9:57:26 IST

New Delhi, Aug 29 : Facing a privilege motion in Parliament over use of derogatory language against politicians, Actor Om Puri  on Sunday night apologised for making these remarks at Anna Hazare's fast venue but denied he was drunk at that time.

Puri said he regretted calling politicians ‘naalayak' (incompetent) and ‘ganwar”( a word often used to describe a backward and an illiterate person), saying the choice of the words were inappropriate.

Puri said he should have used appropriate language for his description of the political class.

The Bollywood star courted controversy when he launched a no holds barred attack on politicians from the stage at Ramlila Maidan on Friday.

He also denied that he had made the caustic comments in an inebriated state , claiming they were said in the “heat of the moment” on seeing Hazare's condition on the 11th day of his fast and the kind of political response to the Gandhian's agitation for a strong Lokpal bill.

Rajya Sabha Member Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party) moved a privilege motion against Puri yesterday for attacking parliamentarians.

Talking to a TV channel, Puri however stood by his remarks that aspiring legislators woo voters with money and liquor, claiming there is nothing new in what he has said.

According to Puri, ‘naalayak' does not suggest abuse and that ‘ganwar' was basically an expression to describe a person who does not “use his mind.

The versatile actor countered the criticism against him asking how does one describe the conduct of members in the Lok Sabha when they are constantly pulled up by the Speaker when there is ruckus and pandemonium in the House.

About him being escorted out of the stage at Ramlila maidan after his speech, Puri said he had to take support of a Tam Anna member because of a problem in his leg which arose sometimes.

The privilege motion notice has been given to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha by Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) and supported by lot many members of political parties, according to Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla.

Shukla said members of most of the poliical parties have demanded action against Puri and that the Chairman will take a decision on the motion on Monday.

Puri had visited Ramlila ground to extend his support to Hazare for a strong Lokpal. PTI