Sanjay Patil
BJP leader Sanjay Patil says his remark on 'take extra peg' was not intended for Karnataka minister Lakshmi HebbalkarIANS

Former Karnataka BJP MLA Sanjay Patil clarified that his remark about "taking an extra peg" was not directed at state Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Laxmi Hebbalkar, whose son Mrinal Hebbalkar is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Belagavi on a Congress ticket.

In a statement to the media on Sunday, Patil emphasized that he never mentioned the Minister's name when making the comment. He challenged Congress leaders to substantiate their claims if they alleged otherwise.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Women's Commission took suo motu action against the BJP leader for his alleged derogatory remarks against the WCD Minister. A notice has been issued, asking Patil to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for his statements.

'Never taken out her name'

The remarks made by the former MLA at a public meeting in Belagavi on Saturday stirred a controversy. Patil had said: "A large number of women are coming out in support of the BJP in Belagavi. This is why I would want my elder sister to have a sleeping pill or an extra peg to get a good night's sleep. It will also be difficult for her to see Ramesh Jarkiholi campaigning in the Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency."

The BJP leader on Sunday said: "Let them (Congress leaders) show if I had taken her (Laxmi Hebbalkar's) name in my statement. When I mentioned Akka bai (elder sister), why do you think it is her? Extra peg means energy drink."

"If I had done wrong, let them file a complaint with the Election Commission and police. If I am guilty, let them punish me. Is it tenable to stage a protest at night? I am a heart patient and underwent bypass surgery," he added.

Patil further said that the Congress leaders must take his remarks sportively. "This is an election, you also speak and I also make comments, there is a way to oppose it. How is it correct to come to the doorstep to protest?".

Laxmi Hebbalkar
Laxmi HebbalkarTwitter

The BJP leader also hit out at Congress for protests outside his residence. "My mother is 90-year-old and she is bedridden. Who will take responsibility if anything happens to her? In the run-up to the election, comments must be taken sportively. I will lodge a criminal case for staging a protest at my residence on Saturday night," he said.

Meanwhile, WCD Minister Laxmi Hebbalkar slammed Patil for his remarks. She said that the remarks show that the BJP leaders have no respect for women. "Patil has not insulted me, he has insulted all women. Former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy, who joined hands with the BJP, also insulted women," she noted.

(With inputs from IANS)