New Delhi: A video of senior Congress leader Kamal Nath using the word “item” for Imarti Devi, who switched over to the BJP, has sparked a row in Madhya Pradesh politics ahead of elections. Also Read - 'Toed Party's Line': Kamal Nath Responds on Complaint to Sonia Gandhi For Supporting Ram Temple
Addressing a poll meeting in Dabra, where the Congress is up against Imarti Devi of the BJP, the former CM said his party candidate was a “simple person” unlike his opponent who is an “item”. Also Read - 'Historic Day Tomorrow': Kamal Nath Holds 'Hanuman Chalisa' Recital Day Before Bhoomi Pujan in Ayodhya | Watch
“Why should I take the name (of the opposing candidate)? You all know that person better than me. What an item,” Kamal Nath said, amid cheers from the crowd which kept shouting “Imarti Devi” as the remarks were being made. Also Read - ‘Undemocratic Pandemic’: Kamal Nath Writes to PM Modi, Accuses BJP of Trying to Topple Elected Governments
Kamal Nath’s controversial remark comes amid campaigning for by-polls scheduled for November 3 in 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly seats.
Hitting back, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took to Twitter saying “Imarti Devi is the daughter of a poor farmer” who rose to become a public servant after starting off as a village labourer.
By referring to a woman as “item”, the Congress and its and leadership have revealed its “feudal mindset”, Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted further.
Later, a BJP delegation met Election Commission officials in Bhopal and complained against Kamal Nath for “insulting women and Dalits”.
Imarti Devi and 21 other MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia had resigned from the Congress and the state Assembly and joined the BJP in March, in the process bringing down the Kamal Nath government.
Counting of votes of the bypolls will be held on November 10.
(With inputs from PTI)