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Maharashtra minister under fire for objectionable remarks on Hema Malini

Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Gulabrao Patil was addressing an election rally at Bodwad Nagar panchayat. The Shiv Sena leader made the comments in an apparent taunt to his political adversary Eknath Khadse of the NCP.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: December 20, 2021 1:12:01 am
Objecting to Patil's comment, the state BJP said it will file a police complaint against him for making "insulting and undignified remarks". (Instagram/Gulabrao Patil/File)

Shiv Sena leader Gulabrao Patil, who is the Cabinet Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, on Sunday came under fire from the Opposition BJP as well as ally NCP after making objectionable remarks on popular actor and BJP leader Hema Malini. State BJP said it will file a police complaint against the minister for making “insulting and undignified remarks” while the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission said he should apologise or face legal action.

Addressing an election rally for Bodwad Nagar Panchayat in Jalgaon district, Patil, taunting his political adversary, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Eknath Khadse, said, “Those who have served as MLA for 30 years should visit my Dharangaon constituency. They should first hand see the development. If you don’t find the roads in Dharangaon like the cheeks of Hema Malini, I will resign ….”

In response, Khadse said, “I don’t want to comment about his remarks on the actor. I don’t know why he remembered Hema Malini. Each one speaks as per his capability…But I want to tell Patil that I have not lost even a single election in last 30 years. If people are electing me repeatedly, it means I have worked for them.”

BJP’s Pravin Darekar, who is the Opposition leader in the State Legislative Council, said, “An offence should be launched against Patil for denigrating womenfolk….I want to see what action the MVA government takes against the minister.”

BJP’s women wing president Uma Khapre told The Indian Express, “This is a highly objectionable and insulting remark. He has tried to lower the dignity of women. Women are becoming soft targets of politicians. We will certainly file a police complaint against the minister.”

When contacted, State 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. By making such a comparison, he has only highlighted his own values and culture…If he does not apologise, we will have to take legal action against him.”

Darekar said across the state, the three constituents of the MVA are fighting against each other and that Jalgaon is no exception. “As they are fighting among themselves, the BJP is gaining everywhere,” he said.

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