New Delhi: After much controversy through the day on former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s “item” remark towards a former party colleague Imarti Devi, the leader on Monday evening explained that he did not mean it as an insult but had simply forgotten the person’s name. Also Read - COVID-19: BJP MLA Kiran Maheshwari Passes Away, PM Modi Condoles Demise

“I said something, it wasn’t to insult anyone,” Nath said. “I just didn’t remember the name (of the person)… this list (showing it in his hand) says item no.1, item no.2. Is this an insult?” he said responding to MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who wrote a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi saying Nath was “looking for excuses”. Also Read - PM Modi To Inaugurate Widened NH Stretch, Attend Dev Deepawali in Varanasi Today

“If somebody is hurt by my item remark, I apologise,” Kamal Nath said. Also Read - Regretting Error: Congress MP Anand Sharma Clarifies After Praising PM Modi's Visit to Vaccine Facilities

The incident took place on Sunday when the Congress leader was addressing a poll meeting in Gwalior’s Dabra town, where the BJP has fielded Imarti Devi who switched over from Congress.

Nath said the Congress candidate was a “simple person” unlike the opponent who was an “item”.

Subsequently, the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday sought an explanation Kamal Nath for his “item” jibe and forwarded the matter to the Election Commission for necessary action. The EC has sought a “detailed report” from the chief electoral officer of Madhya Pradesh on the Congress leader’s remarks.

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.

Notably, against a woman candidate during a poll rally.

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 Nath government.

The controversy comes at a crucial time when the 28-seat assembly of Madhya Pradesh is headed for bypolls next month. The elections will be held on November 3 and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.