BJP leader Vinay Katiyar triggered a controversy on Wednesday, when he said if Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra could get votes for her “beauty”, the BJP too had “beautiful” people.
“There are many beautiful star campaigners. There are many heroines and artistes who are more beautiful,” said Katiyar in a comment likely to haunt the BJP in the coming assembly elections.
The Congress demanded an apology from the BJP parliamentarian, even as the remark drew sharp reactions from opposition parties and also from cross-sections of people.
Gandhi later said Katiyar’s remark exposed “the BJP’s mindset towards the better half of India’s population.”
Katiyar’s comment came amid a raging political row over Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav’s comment that the “izzat (honour)” of a vote was more important than that of a woman.
Katiyar’s remarks about Priyanka came a day after the Congress included her name in the list of campaigners for the Uttar Pradesh assembly election.
She figured in the list of campaigners in the past also but didn’t campaign outside the family pocket boroughs of Amethi and Rae Bareli.
Priyanka also reportedly played a key role in the tie-up between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party after talks between the two parties hit a rough patch over seat-sharing.