In an unprecedented move, the Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit held a press conference on Tuesday to address the allegations levelled against him with regard to a viral audio tape. In the tape, a professor of the Devanga Arts college in Virudhunagar can be heard allegedly luring female students for sex work.
Nirmala Devi further mentions that she has access to the TN Governor.
When asked about her statement, the Governor denies having heard the tape and then claims that he has never seen the face of the professor. " I attend so many convocations. Almost most of the members are on the dias. They move here and there. What can I do? I have not seen her face till date. What you are talking?" he asks. "I am surrounded by my entire team. Even a bird can't come near me without my permission. Can't level such vague charges against me," he adds.
The Governor however had no convincing answer when asked why he was not staying away from the probe, when his name has been mentioned in the tape. He meerly say, "It is a falsehood."
Facing tough questions from reporters, the Governor lost his cool during the press conference. He chided a reporter who asked him whether a CBI probe should be ordered into the issue, saying, "I am your senior. I am 78 years old. I have great grand children too -- I am that lucky. Never say this to me."
He further warned reporters to not allege dereliction of duty on his part.
Taking a patronising tone throughout, the Governor came prepared for questions on whether he was overstepping his authority by forming an inquiry committee. Reading out from a "Governor's Guide", Banwarilal read out an unrelated clause about Governor having power over appointment of Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice Chancellor. Then he gave a knowing look to the media, who did not fall for the gimmick. He then hysterically asked people to wait for the right clause, then read a few words that did not make sense in any context, and trailed off.
At the beginning of his address, he questioned the college for suppressing the incident for close to a month. He further assured them that the one man committee he has constituted under former IAS officer Santhanam will get to the bottom of the case.
"Why has college suppressed it for so long? Mr. Santhanam will find out. As a Chancellor I will take action. Only chancellor is empowered to form the committee. There was some mistake in VC's office. They have not gone through all the rules and regulations. They formed a committee of 5 members without my permission. They have rectified their mistakes and now only a one man committee will look into all mistakes. They are equally serious. College also did not inform."