An unsavoury remark on a woman BJP Minister by former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath has kicked a political storm in the central state where crucial bypolls are approaching.
During a campaign rally in Gwalior's Dabra constituency on Sunday, Kamal Nath, without mentioning Cabinet Minister Imarti Devi's name, said: "Our candidates are straightforward in nature, not like her, what is her name (the crowd replied 'Imarti Devi')... why should I even take her name? What an item!"
Imarti Devi, who was earlier in the Congress, is now a Cabinet Minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh government.
BJP's Madhya Pradesh unit President Vishnu Dutt Sharma said: "On the second day of Navratri, Kamal Nath has insulted the women power by calling a woman an item. The people of the state will respond to it."
Shivraj Singh Chouhan starts Maun Vrat
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today declared a "silent protest" over former Chief Minister Kamal Nath's "item" remark against a woman Congress leader who switched over to the BJP. Mr Chauhan said he would observe a two-hour "Maun Vrat" as "penance for Kamal Nath's act" in state capital Bhopal.
By-elections are scheduled to be held in 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh on November 3.