Politics of ‘outrageous’ utterance!

Election campaigns for by-elections on 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh have reached at its peak as the senior leaders from both the parties levelling allegations and counter-alliterations against each other.  In the 230-member MP assembly, the BJP has 107 seats while the Congress has been reduced to 89 seats after 25 MLAs resigned and joined the BJP. 
 Addressing a poll meeting on Sunday in Gwalior’s Dabra town, where the Congress is up against Imarti Devi, who switched over to the BJP, Nath said his party candidate was a “simple person” unlike his opponent who is an “item”. Devi, a loyalist of former Congressman Jyotiraditya Scindia whose rebellion brought down the Congress government in March, will have to win an election to validate her stay in office. 
BJP took strong exception to the ‘derogatory’ remarks by Nath against the woman minister and moved the Election Commission demanding to bar him from campaigning in the November 3 by-elections to 28 assembly constituencies in the state. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed shock and dismay at Kamal Nath’s ‘outrageous’ utterances against a woman minister, saying it smacked of his arrogance and narrow mindset.
Chouhan said, “Imarti Devi hailed from a poor Dalit family and worked as a labourer in her early period before becoming MLA and then minister. Nath dared to insult her only because she hailed from a poor family”.  It may be noted that Imarti Devi had also made a controversial statement in recent past in which she claimed that an election could be won by the BJP by just calling up the collector of the district in which the constituency falls. Her statement had sparked a controversy. Moreover, the MP Congress has approached the Election Commission seeking removal of 14 non- MLA ministers from the state BJP government for allegedly violating the model code of conduct by misusing their ministerial positions ahead of the 3 November bypolls.
Earlier in July 2013, another Congress veteran and former chief minister Digvijay Singh triggered a row by calling his party colleague and former MP Meenakshi Natrajan, as ‘sau tunch maal’- a northern colloquial that loosely translates into a “desirable object”. By-elections for 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly seats will be held on November 3 and the counting of votes will be held on November 10.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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