Minister of State for Basic Education Anupama Jaiswal on Friday said her comment on ministers visiting villages “despite mosquitoes biting them” was taken out of context. The comment was made when she had visited Shamli district on Thursday.
She was reported as saying, “In yojnao ka laabh bhi sunishchit ho… iske liye sarkar ke mantri raat bhar ja ja ke… machhar kat rahe hain..aur ja rahe hain. (To ensure that people benefit from government schemes… ministers spend the night with them [villages]… despite mosquitoes biting them… they still go).”
Speaking to The Indian Express the minister said, “I do not know how the statement was twisted. The question the reporter asked was about mosquitoes at the places we visited, coolers being used etc, to which I tried to explain the satisfaction we felt by directly interacting with people and understand their issues. Since, the word ‘mosquito’ was used in the question, it came out in the answer as well but it was said in a positive way and not negative.”
Meanwhile, BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule told The Indian Express Friday that at a time when the talk is for equality to Dalits, the very phrase “eating at Dalit’s house” is an insult to them.
“I am a Member of Parliament but I am routinely referred to as a Dalit MP. The President is referred as Dalit President. It is good to eat at a Dalit’s house and talk about their issues but he should be referred as a fellow human being and not as a ‘Dalit’, which makes it appear that we are doing some special favour, which would otherwise have been demeaning,” she said.