A police complaint has been filed against Maharashtra Water Resources Minister and BJP leader Girish Mahajan over his remarks suggesting that using feminine brand names could boost liquor sale, PTI reported on Monday.
The complaint was filed against the minister by Shramik Elgaar, an unorganised sector labour union, president and activist Paromita Goswami at the Mul police station in the district on Sunday.
Addressing an event organised by a sugar mill in North Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district on Saturday, the minister had said, “If you want alcohol or any products’ demand to rise, name it after a woman and see how the demand soars”.
Facing flak, the minister today apologised for making the remarks, saying he didn’t mean to hurt women’s sentiments. Goswami said the minister has “insulted” women by suggesting that giving feminine names to brands would boost the sales of liquour.
“As per the provisions under sub-section 47 of the Constitution, the government is supposed to implement liquor ban in the state. I was simply taken aback by the statement by none other than a minister (Mahajan) in this regard and hence have lodged a police complaint,” Goswami told reporters last evening. She also threatened to launch a protest if the police failed to register an FIR against the minister.
The Maharashtra government had in 2015 declared Chandrapur district in the Vidarbha region as a ‘dry district’, imposing ban on the sale, purchase, production and consumption of liquor. Chandrapur was the third district in the state, after neighbouring Wardha and Gadchiroli, where prohibition was imposed.
The activist said she would file a complaint against the minister with the state governor for his removal from the post. She also demanded a statement in this regard from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
When contacted, Mul police station inspector Jayvant Chavan confirmed the receipt of the complaint. “Paromita Goswami’s complaint has been forwarded to
higher officials for legal opinion. The complainant has alleged that the minister has violated sub section 47 of the Constitution during his speech. However, there are no specific clauses under which the complaint could be registered,” he said.