The National Commission for Women (NCW) has issued a notice to Chhattisgarh Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu, seeking an explanation on his recent remarks on Saroj Pandey, a BJP Rajya Sabha member from the State.
Last week, Mr. Sahu made the remark after Ms. Pandey raised the issue of the dilapidated condition of roads in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh. While she had blamed Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Mr. Sahu, who also holds the Public Works Department portfolio, for the bad condition of roads, Mr. Sahu used the word “charming” while countering these claims.
The issue snowballed into a controversy with Ms. Pandey terming the remarks objectionable and sexist. The NCW took cognisance of one of her tweets and issued the notice on Sunday and asked Mr. Sahu to apologise to the MP.
“The National Commission for Women has come across a Twitter post of Smt. Saroj Pandey, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, enclosing a video of your press conference wherein, you have made an inappropriate remark for Smt. Saroj Pandey which is unacceptable and unwarranted by a person of your stature,” says the notice issued on behalf of NCW chairperson Ranjana Kumari.
Earlier, Ms. Pandey had also written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, seeking action against the Minister.
The Congress defended the Minister on Wednesday and said that nothing that he had said was objectionable. “Ms. Pandey’s social media posts created a political controversy because she had posted the images of roads that were constructed during the previous Raman Singh [BJP] government in 2017-18 and if they are unusable within four to five years, then it only brings to light the corruption under that regime,” Congress’ State media in charge Sushil Anand Shukla said.