Bhopal: The ‘item’ comment row in Madhya Pradesh is refusing to die down. Former Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who has found himself in the middle of a controversy after he called a woman Minister an ‘item’, has shot off a long letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, saying he has always shown respect to women.
This comes after Chouhan’s missive to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking action against the former CM.
Kamal Nath said he has always respected women in his 40-year-long political career and will continue to respect them. ‘But I will never resort to playing disgusting politics by a mere show of respect to women,’ he said.
Kamal Nath courted controversy during the bypolls campaign on Sunday when he referred to a woman Minister as an ‘item’.
The ruling BJP has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission over Nath’s remark, saying that it insulted the woman leader. The Congress has, meanwhile, said Nath did not name the BJP leader.
Addressing a gathering in Dabra in support of Congress candidate Suresh Raje, the former CM 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 by saying 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.
‘Suresh Raje and I will work together for the development of Gwalior-Chambal region, we will work for the youth of this region and chalk out a new policy for the farmers,’ he added.
BJP leaders took no time to condemn Nath’s remarks.
Chouhan also reacted sharply saying the remarks have exposed the feudal mentality of the Congress leader. He should withdraw his remarks and apologise to Imarti Devi, he said.