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Tamil Nadu governor apologises to woman journalist for pat on cheek, she accepts but with disclaimer

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit's apology for a cheek-patting gesture that many found offensive has been accepted by a woman journalist, but with a disclaimer.

Journalist Lakshmi Subramanian‏ had written to Mr Purohit conveying her anger at his gesture after she asked a question during his press conference on Tuesday evening.

In response, the 78-year-old governor offered his apology, but with a bizarre justification - that too, not long after distancing himself from a sex-for-degrees scandal at a college.

"I considered (your) question to be a good one. Therefore, as an act of appreciation for the question that you had posed, I gave a pat on your cheek considering you to be like my granddaughter," he wrote.

Mr Purohit added that it was "done with affection and to express appreciation for your performance as a journalist, since I was also a member of that profession for about 40 years."

Not quite buying into the "grandfatherly pat" claim, Ms Subramanian said she accepted his apology, "even though I am not convinced about your contention that you did it to appreciate a question I asked."

Yesterday, the journalist went on Twitter to share her encounter and said that after she asked the governor a question at the fag end of his press conference, "he decided to patronisingly - and without consent - pat me on the cheek as a reply."

She said it was unprofessional behavior and completely uncalled for, for Mr Purohit to touch a stranger without consent.

Hours later, she even rubbished his explanation with a scathing tweet.

The governor was roundly condemned for conduct unbecoming of a constitutional post.

He had called the press conference on Monday after a professor at Devanga Arts College, accused of asking her students to agree to sexual favours for degrees, had claimed she knows the Governor, who is the chancellor of the university.