Kamal Nath, while addressing an election meeting in Madhya Pradesh’s Dabra, on Sunday made the remark on the rival candidate from the BJP, Imarti Devi, while comparing the virtues of Congress candidate Suresh Raje.
Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath is facing criticism for his “item” remark against state minister Imarti Devi during a campaign speech for assembly by-election.
Rahul Gandhi, the Party’s former president, on Tuesday, said that he personally doesn’t like the type of language that the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister used.
While interacting with media persons, Rahul Gandhi said, “Kamal Nath ji is from my party but personally, I don’t like the type of language that he used…I don’t appreciate it, regardless of who he is. It is unfortunate,”
Kamalnath reacted to Rahul’s statement, and, “It is Rahul Gandhi’s opinion. I have already clarified the context in which I made that statement… Why should I apologize when I did not intend to insult anyone? If anyone felt insulted, I have already expressed regret.”
Nath was on Sunday addressing an election meeting in the Dabra (scheduled caste) assembly constituency in Gwalior district, which is headed for a bypoll, he spoke about Suresh Raje, the Congress candidate.
“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 the 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…”
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday reported this remark to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and asked her to remove Nath from all party posts for his allegedly sexist remarks against state minister Imarti Devi. A two-hour protest of silence was staged by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers across Madhya Pradesh.
He wrote a letter saying “I thought being a woman you would take notice of the news on insult to a 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 an insult to a Dalit woman like this casts a slur on the entire political arena,” he wrote.
In response, Nath wrote a letter to Chouhan on Monday in which he said, “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 the 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.”
Bypolls are scheduled to be held on 28 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh on November 3.