Mulayam Singh Yadav said Wednesday he was not sure whether he should refer to Mayawati as kunwari beti, srimati or behen. Mayawati hit back in kind, saying everyone knows how much respect Mulayam gave his first wife.
Mulayam’s remarks came at a rally in Faizabad. He made a reference to BSP founder Kanshi Ram’s alleged suggestion in 1995 that a toilet be built on the disputed land in Ayodhya. “Someone had suggested constructing a toilet,” he said, “aur ek yeh hain, ab inko srimati kahein, kunwari beti ya behen, kya kahein, yeh bayan kuch dete hain our karte kuch aur hain. (… and someone else, don’t know what to call her, srimati, kunwari beti or behen, they say something and do something else).”
Mayawati called these remarks “anti-women” and “made with casteist mindset”, and said the chief election commissioner should take congnisance and take action against Mulayam. She said Mulayam has made a habit of making “anti-women” statements. “A person like Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has lost his mental balance, may refer even to his grandchildren as Sriman and Srimati. He should be admitted to Agra mental asylum,” she said at home.
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She said her supporters are agitated and Mulayam’s remarks could have led to caste-riots had she not restrained them. She dismissed as false the statement attributed to Kanshi Ram.