Sack Kamal Nath from all posts: MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan writes to Sonia Gandhi
Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in Bhopal on Monday, “My Dalit sister Imarti Devi was insulted by the state Congress president Kamal Nath but what is more painful is that he is not remorseful for his act. Instead, he is trying to justify his indecent remark shamelessly.”Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 01:58 IST
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to remove state Congress president Kamal Nath for his allegedly sexist remarks against a woman minister in the state government. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers across Madhya Pradesh staged a two-hour protest of silence.
The protesters were led by Chouhan in Bhopal, Rajya Sabha member Jyotiraditya Scindia in Indore, and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and state BJP president VD Sharma in Gwalior. Party workers held protest placards in their hands to condemn Nath’s remarks about woman and child development minister Imarti Devi. They demanded an apology from Nath.
Nath was on Sunday addressing an election meeting in the Dabra (scheduled caste) assembly constituency in Gwalior district, which is headed for a bypoll, where he made the remark while comparing the virtues of Congress candidate Suresh Raje with those of the rival candidate from the BJP, Imarti Devi.
“Suresh Raje is a simple man. He is down to earth. He is not like the person. What is the name of the person?” As crowd responded to Nath’s question, citing Imarti Devi’s name, Kamal Nath called her an “item”, saying, “Why should I name her? You know her better than I know. You should have warned me. Ye kya item hai...”
Chouhan said in Bhopal on Monday, “My Dalit sister Imarti Devi was insulted by the state Congress president Kamal Nath but what is more painful is that he is not remorseful for his act. Instead, he is trying to justify his indecent remark shamelessly.”
Chouhan also wrote to Sonia Gandhi, urging her to condemn the remark and sack Nath from all party posts.
“I thought being a woman you would take notice of the news on insult to cabinet minister and scheduled caste woman leader Imarti Devi and take action against state Congress president Kamal Nath while condemning the indecent remark but you have not done it so far…She broke down while sharing her pain. Elections come and go but insult to a Dalit woman like this casts a slur on the entire political arena,” he wrote.
“I request you to condemn the indecent remark and remove your party’s former chief minister Kamal Nath from all the party posts to teach a lesson to leaders of your party who insult women. I wish to add that if you keep silent on the insult, it would be considered that you havegiven your consent to the remark,” Chouhan added.
In Indore, Scindia observed silence with a placard in his hand which read: “Mata bahano ka jo kare apmaan, Shastra kahen wo hai shaitan” (holy scriptures say those who insult mother and sisters are devils).
“Kamal Nath has insulted the entire Scheduled Castes and Dalit community by calling Imarti Devi an ‘item’,” Scindia said.
Demanding action by Congress president Sonia Gandhi against Nath, he added: “If she doesn’t take action people will come to know as to what is difference between what Congress preaches and what it practises.”
Reacting to Chouhan’s letter to the Congress president, and giving clarification in light on the protests, Nath said in a letter addressed to Chouhan on Monday, “In my 40 years of public life, I have always respected women and will continue to do so. I didn’t make any disrespectful remark during my speech in Dabra meeting but still you came out with lies. The word that you are indicating has several definitions, but you and your party are trying to mislead people by telling lies.”
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati also sought action against Nath. In a tweet, Mayawati wrote: “The ex-CM’s indecent and anti-woman remark against the Dalit woman contesting a by-poll on Dabra seat is highly shameful and condemnable. Congress high command should tender a public apology on this.”
The National Commission for Women, meanwhile, sought an explanation from Nath over his remarks. The Commission has also forwarded the matter to the Election Commission for taking necessary action.
“The NCW has come across several media reports where Shri Kamal Nath, Leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly, made offensive and derogatory remarks against a woman minister in a political rally in Dabra,” the Commission said in a statement. “The Commission strongly condemns this irresponsible and disparaging statement made by the leader. The words used in the video are highly defamatory and shows disrespect towards the dignity of a woman.”