The Election Commission (EC) Monday said that Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, by referring to BJP leader Imarti Devi as an “item”, had violated the Model Code of Conduct and advised him to not use such words during his campaign for the state bypolls.
Defending himself, Nath, in his reply to the Commission, had said there was no malice or intent to disrespect a woman behind his remark. He also said that upholding the dignity of women has been the cornerstone of his public life and is reflected in his actions and public policies. However, the Commission found Nath’s remark violative of the MCC.
Earlier this month, addressing a gathering in Dabra in support of Congress candidate Suresh Raje, the former CM had said Raje is a simple man who will carry out development work “unlike her”.
“Ye unke jaise nahi hai… kya hai uska naam (He is not like her, what is her name),” Nath asked the crowd which responded with BJP candidate Imarti Devi’s name. “You know her better than I do, you people should have warned me beforehand… ye kya item hai… kya item hai,” said Nath.
Soon after the remark, the BJP approached the EC, accusing Nath of insulting women and the SC community. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the comment amounted to insult of a daughter and sister of the Gwalior-Chambal region.
Devi, state WCD minister, was one of the 22 MLAs who resigned in March, bringing down the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh. She subsequently joined the BJP and is now a party candidate for the bypoll in Dabra, a seat reserved for SC candidates.
EC notice to Vijayvargiya, Verma
Meanwhile, the EC on Monday issued notices to BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya and Congress leader Sajjan Singh Verma for violating the code of conduct during their campaign for the MP bypolls. While Verma was served a notice for calling Vijayvargiya “Ravan” on October 15 at a gathering in Indore, Vijayvargiya has to explain himself for calling Kamal Nath “chunnu-munnu” on October 14 at a rally in Indore.
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