Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan and BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia held “silent protests” against former CM Kamal Nath after he referred to BJP minister Imarti Devi as an “item”. While Chouhan held a two-hour protest in Bhopal, Scindia and other party members protested in Indore.
Kamal Nath’s comment on Sunday sparked a political controversy amid campaigning for the bypolls to 28 Assembly seats in the state . Addressing a poll meeting in Dabra in support of Congress candidate Suresh Raja, Nath hailed him as a “simple man” unlike his opponent(Imarti Devi) who is an “item.” “Why should I take the name (of the opposing candidate)? You all know that person better than me. What an item,”he said.
Chouhan along with state ministers Narottam Mishra, Bhupendra Singh, Vishwas Sarang and some women members of the BJP began the ‘maun vrat’ (silent fast) at Minto Hall in Bhopal at 10 am.
BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Scindia and Lok Sabha member Shankar Lalwani sat on the silent protest at Regal Square in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Indore city. Besides, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Madhya Pradesh BJP president Vishnu Dutt Sharma, senior party leader Prabhat Jha along with some other leaders staged a similar protest in Gwalior.
The BJP lodged a complaint with the Election Commission saying that the remark was an “insult” to women leaders and the SC community.
Shivraj Chouhan had earlier said Nath’s remark was disrespectful not just to the BJP minister, but each and every woman in the Gwalior-Chambal region. “With your cheap statement, Congress’ crooked and despicable mentality has come to the fore again. You have not just disrespected Smt Imarti Devi, but each and every girl and sister of Gwalior-Chambal region,” Chouhan tweeted.
Imarti Devi, state cabinet minister for Women and Child Development, was one of the 22 MLAs who resigned in March, bringing down the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh. She subsequently joined the BJP and is now a party candidate for the bypoll in Dabra, a seat reserved for SC candidates.
The Madhya Pradesh bypolls will be held on November 3 and the counting of votes will be done on November 10.