A group of women landed at the residence of BJP leader Giriraj Singh on Monday in protest against his casual use of phrase ‘dehati aurat’ (rustic woman) to describe Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s criticism of Narendra Modi.
Giriraj had said Nitish was behaving like a ‘dehati aurat’ and quarreling with Modi out of “jealousy” after the latter alluded to the BJP PM candidate’s foray into the state as “garbage dumped into the state”.
The placard-carrying women demonstrated outside Giriraj’s 15 Circular Road residence in Patna and slammed him for the “humiliating description of rural women”.
A woman leading the protest was seen telling a TV reporter she was with the JD (U), the party that rules Bihar and is at loggerheads with the BJP since the two allies parted ways on June 16 over Modi’s rise in the BJP.
The cornered minister, however, said Bihar food minister Shyam Rajak had sponsored the demonstration “at the behest of you know who”.
He said policemen were present on the spot but did nothing to stop the protestors from entering the VVIP area in which his official residence is located.
“This is taking the political discourse in Bihar to a new low,” the Narendra Modi acolyte told HT.
But Rajak described the protest as “spontaneous” and denied he had anything to do with it.
“In any case, Giriraj is neither a VVIP, nor is he left with any work to do,” he said about his former cabinet colleague.
Giriraj had made the ‘dehati aurat’ remark at the Patna airport during Modi’s visit to the state on Saturday to meet the family members of the victims of last Sunday’s serial blasts during the latter’s rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan.
The term ‘dehati remark’ became staple of a brief media storm when a Pakistani journalist said he heard Indian Prime Minister being described thus by his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of a meeting at New York. Sharif had allegedly said Singh behaved like a ‘dehati aurat’ in expressing concern over cross-border terrorism to US President Barack Obama.
Narendra Modi had used the controversy to take a dig at the UPA, saying though he was willing to take on the PM within the country, he couldn’t tolerate an attack on the Indian Prime Minister by a foreigner.