Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday night sacked khadi and gramodyog minister Rajaram Pandey for making a sexist remark once again despite a previous warning from the CM who has now taken charge of the ministry himself.
A file photo of UP's former khadi and gramodyog minister Rajaram Pandey. HT Photo
Pandey, who had earlier landed in the soup for openly praising the beauty of the then Sultanpur district magistrate and her predecessor, this time promised to give a facial to roads in the state and make them smooth like the cheeks of Bollywood actors Hema Malini and Madhuri Dixit.
He made his controversial comment while talking to newspersons at his camp office in Pratapgarh on Saturday.
In making the 'cheeky' comment on roads, Pandey seemed to be following in the footsteps of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav who had allegedly made a similar remark about making his state's roads as smooth as Hema Malini's cheeks many years ago, inviting a riposte from film actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha who said Yadav had made the roads as rough as noted actor Om Puri's cheeks.
However, Yadav had denied the remark later and claimed that it was made by a former prime minister.
"I have often been lampooned by the media for making foolish statements. I was attributed a statement that Bihar's roads would be made like the cheeks of Hema Malini. However, this statement was originally made by a former PM, and he played the mischief and somehow attributed the statement to me," the former railway minister had said.
In February this year, Pandey, who was the chief guest at a public function in Sultanpur to distribute cheques to unemployed persons, had said, "It is my privilege that I am the guardian minister of Sultanpur for the second time and every time I get a chance to work with beautiful woman DMs."
Pandey then turned to K Dhanalakshmi, the then DM, and said, "Previously, when there was Kamini Chauhan Ratan I used to think that no woman can match her beauty. But when the present DM took over, I realised she is more beautiful. She is also very soft spoken."
His remarks had prompted an outcry. The National Commission for Women (NCW) had issued a show cause notice and sought explanation from Pandey about his comments.