Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh kicked up a row with his remark that rural women will not benefit from the Women’s Reservation Bill because they are not as attractive as those from the affluent class.

Bade bade gharon ki ladkiya aur mahilayan kewal upar ja sakti hain...yaad rakhna...apko mauka nahi milega..hamare gaon ki mahila me akarshan itna nahin...,”(Only girls and women from affluent class can go forward...remember this..you (rural women) will not get a chance...Our rural women did not have that much attraction),” he said at a rally in Barabanki on Thursday.

Mr. Mulayam made the remark while claiming that if the Bill is passed, women belonging to the affluent class will march ahead while those from poor background will be further pushed back.

The row over Mr. Mulayam’s comment was a throwback to the controversy over his remark - dubbed as sexist - in 2010 that if the Women’s Reservation Bill is passed it will fill Parliament with the kind of women who invite catcalls and whistles.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman condemned Mr. Mulayam’s remark and said there is a need to get out of the “mindset” of looking at women from the prism of whether they are attractive. “We are not a commodity, women have a big contribution to make,” she added.

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