In the dock over a video purportedly showing him making derogatory remarks against women, Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy Wednesday maintained that his statement was “misinterpreted” and refused to tender an apology.
The video which has since gone viral quoted the minister as saying that 30,000 women have 60,000 husbands.
On Tuesday, BJP state women wing chief Prabhati Parida had hit out at the minister over the comments.
BJP’s women wing Wednesday staged an agitation in front of Maharathy’s residence here. Some of them also attempted to barge into his residence.
“I am devastated over the developments in last two days. I have never made any such remark insulting women. Therefore, there is no question of tendering an apology,” the minister told reporters in response to the agitation against him.
Stating that he had always shown respect for women, Maharathy, who has been elected to the assembly six times, clarified, “Some people have misinterpreted my statement. I had in fact said there would be 60,000 people in the chief minister’s meeting to be held at Satyavadi (place in his constituency), including 30,000 women and another 30,000 (their) husbands”.
The agitating BJP women wing activists said they went to the minister’s residence to seek a clarification from his wife over his derogatory remarks.
“The minister’s comment has hurt the women community. His wife, being a woman, should explain as to how he could stoop so low and make such irresponsible statements,” they said.