Having a reputation for being scathing when it comes to criticising his rivals,Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh went a bit too far while praising party colleague Meenakshi Natarajan at Mandsaur,inviting criticism for a remark for its alleged sexist tone.
Ye sau pratishat tunch maal hai, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said while showering praise on Natarajan at a public rally in Mandsaur,the constituency in Madhya Pradesh she represents in Lok Sabha.
The AICC general secretary meant to praise her as a person who is 100 per cent pure but used an expression which,when used with reference to a woman,has a different connotation.
Going immediately on the defensive,Singh clarified that he was only praising Natarajan and threatened television channels with defamation for airing his remarks by giving them a different spin. He,however,was not his usual confident self. Natarajan herself did not mind it,saying the senior leader was only praising her work.
Singhs remarks had come after he called her Gandhian,sincere,hardworking,honest,go-getter and pro-poor while reserving a few adjectives for himself. He said he was a connoisseur and can instantly tell a fake person from a genuine one because he had spent nearly 40-42 years in politics.
Singh has made Madhya Pradesh to hang its head in shame by using such language for someone of his daughters age, said BJP state minister Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Vijayvargiya had himself used unparliamentary language while talking about her. His only defence was he did not name her.
In Malwa region,the phrase conveys a different meaning when used for women, BJP spokesperson Vijendra Sisodia said.
Congress legislator Govind Singh said there is nothing wrong in what the former chief minister said because he only compared her to pure gold. If anyone had to feel offended it was her,but she welcomed it, he said.
The ruling BJPs womens wing took to the streets in Bhopal and burned Singhs effigies.