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Cong Minister in soup over remarks against prez

india Updated: Feb 09, 2011 23:44 IST
HT Correspondent

A Rajasthan minister has found himself in a soup over his unsavoury remarks about President Pratibha Patil he made at a meeting of Congress workers here on Tuesday.

Minister of state for panchayati raj and waqf Amin Khan had stated that Patil was rewarded with the country's top post because she "used to cook and wash utensils" for former prime minister Indira Gandhi after she lost the elections in 1977.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot has now been summoned to New Delhi by the Congress brass to discuss Khan's remark. Gehlot, who held a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, is expected to meet the president and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to clarify Khan's remark.

The CM had earlier expressed his anguish over the derogatory remark. He also reportedly called Patil and apologised.

Khan, however, clarified that he did not intend to show any disrespect to the President. He said he had only cited Patil's example as someone who is a selfless worker. "Everyone is rewarded when the time comes, I advised party workers."

Predictably, Khan's "indecent" remarks drew condemnation from all parties and they demanded action against him.

Late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had sacked a minister in his cabinet, KK Tiwari, who made disparaging remarks against a former president, Gyani Zail Singh, in 1988.

The BJP said the remark was unfortunate and called for Khan's resignation.

"This is insult to the entire country as well as women of India for which the state government of Rajasthan is responsible," BJP national general secretary Vasundhara Raje said.

The former chief minister said Congress leaders routinely made derogatory remarks against women. "It had become a habit with them."

(With PTI inputs)