Updated: December 20, 2021 6:22:48 pm
Maharashtra Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Gulabrao Patil has apologised for his comments comparing roads in his constituency with Hema Malini’s cheeks after it triggered widespread condemnation from political parties like the BJP and the NCP and drew the state women’s commission’s ire.
“My intention was to highlight the good roads in my constituency. However, my statement was misunderstood. If my statement has hurt anyone, I would like to apologise…,” the Shiv Sena minister said in a video message on Monday.
Addressing an election rally for Bodwad Nagar panchayat in Jalgaon district on Sunday, Patil, taunting his political adversary NCP leader Eknath Khadse, had said: “Those who have served as MLA for 30 years should visit my Dharangaon constituency. They should see first hand the development that I have carried out in my constituency. If you don’t find the roads in Dharangaon like the cheeks of Hema Malini, then I will resign…”
The state BJP said it will file a police complaint against the minister for making “insulting and undignified” remarks. BJP leader Pravin Darekar, who is the opposition leader in the state Legislative Council, said that an offence should be registered against Patil for denigrating womenfolk.
The Maharashtra state women’s commission said Patil should apologise or face legal action. The women’s commission chairperson, Rupali Chakankar, who is also the state NCP women’s wing chief, said: “As a people’s representative, Patil’s statement is highly deplorable and demeaning of the womenfolk…If he does not apologise, we will have to take legal action against him.”
BJP’s women’s wing general secretary Uma Khapre told The Indian Express that Patil had no reason to drag Hema Malini’s name into the discussion.
Khadse, meanwhile, responded to Patil’s comments saying if people had elected him for 30 years, it meant he had worked for them.
While the NCP said with the minister’s apology, the chapter is closed for them, the BJP said it is still contemplating a legal action against Patil.
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