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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Lucknow

Sexist Remarks
First Published: 12:43 IST(8/2/2013)
Last Updated: 12:54 IST(8/2/2013)

Nothing wrong in praising a woman’s beauty:

Despite an RTI activist moving the National Commission for Women (NCW) against minister Raja Ram Pandey for comparing the physical attributes of the past and present woman district magistrates of Sultanpur from a public stage on Monday, the minister remained unrepentant on Thursday and refused to apologize.

In fact, Pandey appeared to be getting high on the attention his remarks, which women rights activists and opposition parties have found objectionable – have drawn.

“Why should I apologise. You seemed to have picked up selective portions of my speech. Yes, I did praise the beauty of the district magistrates. But I also praised their dedication and commitment towards their work. Is praising a beautiful woman any wrong,” the minister told HT.
 
“Just as I would have praised my wife or daughter’s beauty, I praised that of the officials. I admit that I am lucky that the Sultanpur district, of which I am the minister in-charge, has had beautiful DMs during my tenure,” Pandey said adding, “Our scriptures have been praising beauty. I fail to understand what wrong have I done?”

The minister actually blamed the media for the controversy. “You people have selectively played up my comments. Play the full speech,” he said.

He, however, didn’t have any answer as to why he made the ‘kad-kathi’ (body) references directed at the Sultanpur DM.

RTI activist Nutan Thakur has sent a complaint to the NCW, urging the commission to take cognizance of the minister’s remarks.

She has urged the NCW chairman Mamata Sharma to ensure legal action against Pandey after an inquiry.

Various serving bureaucrats too have said the minister needed to be tamed. Former bureaucrat Promila Shankar felt the minister had no business to praise a DM’s beauty from an official stage, where the DM was present in her official capacity.

BJP legislative party leader Hukum Singh and former UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi too have demanded action against the minister.In fact Hukum Singh said he would meet the CM on the issue. His his own party MLA Ravidas Mehrotra too has demanded an apology.


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