By commenting that women should be careful while visiting places that are “dark and insecure” in the city, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate for the Lok Sabha polls, Manpreet Singh Ayali has kicked up storm.
He made the comment during a debate organised by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) on Thursday evening. The remarks received a sharp criticism from women sitting in the audience as well as Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) nominee HS Phoolka.
“Women should avoid visiting dark and insecure places in the city. They should be careful while visiting these areas. Although the government deploys PCR vans and motorbikes to deal with emergency situations, women should avoid visiting such places,” Ayali said.
Women sitting in the audience disagreed with the SAD candidate and shouted that security deployed on the VIP duty should be diverted to ensure safety of women in the city. Women alleged that cases of eve-teasing even in the crowded markets were increasing every day and police have not been able to tighten the noose around the culprits.
Taking a dig at Ayali, Phoolka said he was pained to hear to remarks that women should not to go certain places. “Why don't the police install boards at such areas that they feel are unsafe for women? They have provided 20 policemen for single VIP and they can't spare police officials to ensure safety of women,” said Phoolka as he received applaud from the audience.
On the other hand, Ravneet Bittu said women were driving the nation and they have the right to visit every nook and cranny of the country and no one can stop them.
Praising the SAD government, Ayali said there were no power cuts in Ludhiana now, a comment that again invited criticism from the audience who claimed that there were power cuts up to four hours in a day.
Ayali claimed that these cuts could be due to repair work.
Meanwhile, Ravneet Bittu said drug menace in the state was a serious issue that needs to be addressed at the earliest. He said involvement of people was required to end the menace.
Stating that the Right to Service Act should be implemented in letter and spirit, Phoolka said, “Political leaders do not want to implement this Act because then no one will go to them for their work,” he said.