Politicians are known to court controversy through their evocative speeches. And, most of the time it pays political dividends. But, not all of them can master the art a la Lalu Prasad.
Sample this: "Jab tak mahila tirchhi nazar se nahi dekhegi, tab tak purush use nahi
chhedega. (No man would sexually harass a woman until and unless she looks in a suggestive manner)." When Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh home minister Satyadev Katare said this at a Congress workers' meeting in Bhind, he was just trying to rephrase an old adage 'where there is smoke there will be fire'. That the context had nothing to do with women or molestation notwithstanding, Katare's remark created a furore.
State BJP spokesperson Vijendra Singh Sisodia said the Congress must decide whether it was for women or against them.
In Neemuch, also in MP, state industries minister Kailash Vijayvargiya targetted AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi as a "flop movie". But that is fair play. Until one gets to his next statement.
"Unhe to Rahul Gandhi ki maalish karne se fursat nahi hai (She doesn't have time to spare, she's busy massaging Rahul Gandhi)," said Vijayvargiya attacking the local MP, Meenakshi Natrajan, when told that the people of Neemuch were facing a water crisis.
Later, however, he "clarified" that he was talking about the Congress party.
In another state, three ministers and a Samajwadi Party MLA embarrassed the government by making objectionable comments against officers and the media at the party's statewide rallies on Tuesday.
In Etah, UP textile minister Shiv Kumar Beria warned police officers to listen to party workers or face action. "No SDM or policeman has the guts to sit down without my order, let alone work," Beria said.
While Beria was daring government officials, in Mathura, tourism minister Om Prakash Singh told journalists: "The law and order situation is good. Your (journalists') mindset is not right."
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