Other States

Kamal Nath expresses regret over remarks against woman minister

Congress party leader Kamal Nath   | Photo Credit: AP

Facing flak for his “item” jibe against Madhya Pradesh Minister Imarti Devi, State Congress president Kamal Nath has expressed regret over it and asserted that he did not say anything disrespectful.

He claimed the word ‘item’ is used in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, but the BJP tried to “mislead” by making it an issue to divert people’s attention while sensing defeat in the November 3 State bypolls.

“I did not say anything disrespectful. I respect women. If anyone thinks this is disrespectful, then I regret it,” Kamal Nath told reporters on Monday night.

Addressing a poll meeting on Sunday in Gwalior’s Dabra town, where the BJP has fielded Imarti Devi, Kamal Nath said the Congress candidate was a “simple person” unlike his opponent who was an “item“.

Rahul Gandhi’s disapproval

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday disapproved of Mr. Nath’s remark, saying it was ‘unfortunate’

“One cannot treat women with disrespect. Kamalnath ji is from my party. But I don’t like personally that type of language that Kamalnath ji has used. I do not appreciate it. It is unfortunate”, Mr. Gandhi, who is on a three day visit to Kerala, told reporters in Wayand.

State BJP leaders, led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Monday held a protest against Kamal Nath, while the National Commission for Women sought an explanation from the Congress leader for his remark.

Mr. Chouhan also wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, asking her to condemn Mr. Nath’s remarks and remove the former Chief Minister from all party posts.

'Divertion tactic'

Mr. Nath said, “The BJP is trying to divert the attention from real issues after it realised that it is badly losing. I will not let them succeed.”

In a letter to Mr. Chouhan on Monday night, Mr. Nath said, “I didn’t make any disgraceful remarks but you served lies...the word I said has a lot of meanings. Your party is serving lies and misleading by interpreting the word arbitrarily.”

“Under your 15-year-long government, the State remained on top in rape cases, crimes against women, but you remained silent,” the Congress leader claimed.

He also alleged that a Union minister and a cabinet colleague of Mr. Chouhan recently used derogatory terms for women.

“You should have written a letter to your party president informing about the remarks of the Union Minister and cabinet colleague by apologising to the women of the State and observing silent fast,” he said in the letter to CM.

Bypolls to 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly seats will be held on November 3.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 12:48:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kamal-nath-expresses-regret-over-remarks-against-woman-minister/article32899796.ece

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