Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday appealed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to immediately remove Kamal Nath from all party posts for his ‘item’ remark against state minister Imarti Devi. Chouhan said that Nath committed a shameless act by insulting a woman member of the scheduled caste and then attempted to justify the statement.
“Immediately remove him from all party posts and strongly condemn his statement. If you fail to react, I will be compelled to believe that you support it,” Chouhan wrote in a letter. “The comment was made not once, but twice from a public platform,” he added.
“Madam Sonia Gandhi, a leader of your party, a former chief minister has made such a comment. Is it okay? Do poor women have no respect? Madam, if you think the remark was wrong, what action will you take? I am writing to you, you make a decision,” he also said.
Earlier in the day, Chouhan, BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and other party leaders sat on a two-hour silent fast to protest against Nath’s remark. 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 10am.
Ahead of the November 3 by-elections in the state, Nath said his party candidate was a ‘simple person’ unlike his opponent who is an ‘item’ while addressing a poll meeting on Sunday in Gwalior. Chouhan later hit out at Nath over his remark against the minister.
“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 said in a tweet in Hindi on Sunday. “Kamal Nathji, who gave you the right to play with the respect of women?” he asked in the tweet.
Imarti Devi and 21 other MLAs loyal to Scindia had resigned from the Congress and the state assembly and joined the BJP in March this year, in the process bringing down the Kamal Nath-led government. By-elections for 28 assembly seats in the state will be held on November 3 and the counting of votes will be held on November 10.