Kumaraswamy’s statement on women triggers a row

Published - April 15, 2024 01:06 am IST - Bengaluru

JD(S) State president H.D. Kumaraswamy along with BJP State president B.Y. Vijayendra during a roadshow in support of Tumakuru BJP candidate V. Somanna on Saturday.

JD(S) State president H.D. Kumaraswamy along with BJP State president B.Y. Vijayendra during a roadshow in support of Tumakuru BJP candidate V. Somanna on Saturday. | Photo Credit:

Janata Dal (Secular) State president and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s statement on women, at a political rally at Turuvekere of Tumakuru district, has turned controversial. The Karnataka State Women’s Commission on Sunday decided to issue a notice to him for his alleged derogatory remarks. While Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar demanded an explanation from the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for aligning with Mr. Kumaraswamy, the former Chief Minister alleged that his statement has been twisted by the “Congress’s fake factory that is spreading lies”.

In a note issued here, commission’s chairperson Nagalakshmi Choudhary said the commission had taken the incident seriously and had registered a suo motu complaint. “He has hurt the honour and character of women by stating that rural women have gone astray due to the guarantee schemes. The commission will issue a notice to Mr. Kumaraswamy,” said the note from Ms. Choudhary.

Mr. Kumaraswamy had said: “What guarantees have they given and to whose pockets have the government dug into to fund the guarantees? Today, because the government announced the five guarantee schemes during the last elections, our mothers in villages have gone a little astray. They (women) have to think what happens to their lives. You (women) should think what happens to your family. They (Congress) do not have anything else but guarantees.”

Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief Minister told reporters in Kodagu: “Mr. Kumaraswamy insulted the mothers and sisters of Karnataka. I will not seek an apology from him but seek an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman.” He said: “Women are self-respecting. They are planning a protest against him and we will encourage them to take up the fight within legal boundaries.” Mr. Shivakumar said: “We refer to India as Bharat Mata and our naada devate is Chamundeshwari. But Mr. Kumaraswamy thinks women are not responsible.”

Hitting back, Mr. Kumaraswamy said: “I have spoken only about guarantees and I have not insulted women. The Congress is unnecessarily politicising it in desperation. I said something else, but the Congress is twisting it. I only said that in the name of guarantees, they are misguiding you (women). Have I insulted you? Definitely not. I have only stated innocent people and women are being misguided and I have warned them to be wary of it.” He said that neither he nor his family members have ever ill-treated women. “I have helped women when they are in difficulty. I have given good programmes for women and responded to women by banning arrack and lottery. I am not someone who will talk loosely about women. If I have strength in politics, it is because of women,” he said.

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