news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | November 11, 2014 | 12 pm IST

At least one guest on the Times Literary Festival’s guest list has cancelled because of the invitation extended to founder Editor of Tehelka Tarun Tejpal. 

Swapan Dasgupta said on Sunday that he had informed the organisers that he would not be participating in the festival. 

Tejpal had been accused of rape by a junior colleague in November 2013. Tweeting on Sunday night, Dasgupta said that just as the festival organisers had the right to invite any person of their choice as a guest, he as a guest had every right to withdraw his participation.

Read: Editorial: Have we forgotten: Tarun Tejpal to re-emerge through a lit fest

He re-tweeted a tweet which was critical of Tejpal’s invitation to the lit fest, but did not say anything himself.

Tejpal, his supporters, and his lawyers have argued that he had been targeted because of his political leanings and his criticism of the BJP, which is the ruling party in Goa, the state where the FIR is registered. 

Swapan Dasgupta was to participate in a session on the second day of the three-day festival on the topic “Custodians of Agnst: Do Bengalis have the Monopoly?”, and on the third day in a session titled “The eternally astute Indian electorate” along with senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and moderated by another senior journalist Siddharth Varadarajan.

Swapan Dasgupta is known to have BJP leanings.

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