New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani hit out at the Congress leadership on Monday over former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s “item” remark against state minister Imarti Devi.  The BJP leader said, “I can’t understand why the Gandhi family chooses to be absolutely silent.” Also Read - Dismiss Kamal Nath From Congress For His 'Item' Jibe, BJP Leader Imarti Devi to Sonia Gandhi

“I can’t find any justification that Kamal Nath ji can give for using such derogatory word against a woman political leader,” Smriti Irani said. Also Read - 'Feudal Mindset': MP CM Shivraj Singh Lashes Out at Kamal Nath For Calling BJP Leader Imarti Devi ‘Item’

“I don’t think Gandhi family will take action against Kamal Nath for making such a derogatory statement against a lady,” the Union minister said.

She added, “Be it Kamal Nath or Digvijaya Singh, these are the people who keep fire burning in Gandhi family’s kitchen.”

Addressing a poll meeting on Sunday in Gwalior’s Dabra town, where the BJP has fielded Imarti Devi who switched over from Congress, Kamal Nath said the Congress candidate was a “simple person” unlike the opponent who was an “item”.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday sought an explanation Kamal Nath for his “item” jibe against Imarti Devi. The NCW has also forwarded the matter to the Election Commission for necessary action.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and other party leaders sat on a two-hour silent fast in protest against Kamal Nath’s derogatory 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 10 am on Monday.
Chouhan earlier hit out at Kamal Nath over his remark against the minister, saying it shows the “crooked and despicable mentality of the Congress.

“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.
The controversy over Kamal Nath ‘item’ remark comes ahead of bypolls for 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly seats, which will be held on November 3 and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.

(With inputs from PTI)