Clarifying his stand on the alleged derogatory remarks made against a woman candidate, Congress leader Kamal Nath Tuesday said the word he used had “multiple interpretations” and accused Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of politicising the issue to gain mileage ahead of state bypolls.
The former chief minister’s reaction comes after Chouhan wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi over his remarks against BJP’s Imarti Devi, a Dalit leader. At a poll rally in Gwalior’s Dabra town on Sunday, Nath had said the Congress candidate was a “simple person” unlike the opponent who was an “item”.
In a letter to Chouhan, Nath said Chouhan has written “nothing but lies” to Sonia Gandhi. “I did not make any disrespectful statement in my address in Dabra yet you served all the lies,” he said.
“The word you are highlighting here has multiple meanings and interpretations but your party is trying to mislead people by diverting the attention of the voters from real issues,” he added.
The former chief minister claimed Madhya Pradesh has become the most unsafe state for women under Chouhan’s rein and has ranked number one in crimes against women in the last 15 years.
Nath further accused Chouhan of playing caste politics, saying had he been really concerned about the honour of women, especially Dalit women, he would have kept a “maun vrat” on the Hathras case and cases involving former BJP leaders Swami Chinmayanand and Kuldeep Sengar. On Monday, the Madhya Pradesh CM and BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia held a two-hour-long “silent protest” or ‘maun vrat’ against Nath’s statement in Bhopal.
“The mention of the caste of the woman in the letter reflects your immoral politics. It is known that your letter is an attempt to garner votes and you are not concerned for women safety,” he said.
Nath also pointed out a recent incident where BJP minister Bisahulal Singh allegedly used a derogatory term for the wife of a Congress candidate. “It would have been better if you had written a letter to your fellow ministers in the Centre and had kept a “maun vrat” seeking forgiveness from the women of the state.”
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has sought an explanation from Kamal Nath for his “item” jibe against state minister Imarti Devi. The NCW has also forwarded the matter to the Election Commission for necessary action.
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