BSP’s Akhilesh Das draws all-round flak for remarks on Nafisa

April 14th, 2009 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party Lucknow, April 14 (IANS) Remarks by Akhilesh Das, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate from Lucknow for the Lok Sabha elections, against his Samajwadi Party rival Nafisa Ali have drawn flak from all quarters, including Priyanka Gandhi.
At a poll rally here Monday evening, Das - who left the Congress to join the BSP - described Nafisa as a “burhiya” (old woman) with “white hair”. He made it a point to describe Nafisa’s husband as a Sikh, apparently to convey to the Muslims among the voters that she was not married into a Muslim family.

Das came in for criticism as soon as his remarks were flashed by some TV channels Tuesday morning. Nafisa expressed shock and dismay. Women leaders from other political parties also condemned his “objectionable remarks”.

The BSP candidate said: “By virtue of her marriage Nafisa’s full name should be Nafisa Sodhi and not Ali since her husband is a Sodhi; but of course that depends on what relationship she has with her husband; as far as Indian society is concerned, husband is pati-parmeshwar (huband-god).”

Das went on to add: “I don’t know why Amar Singh could not find a younger nominee to contest against me; after all I am still quite young and would have felt much better with a young rival on the other side.”

Priyanka Gandhi was the first to react. “Women must be respected and it is very shameful if someone does not do that,” Priyanka told mediapersons in Amethi while campaigning for her brother Rahul.

Uttar Pradesh Congress unit president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who is also the Congress nominee from here, severely criticised Das. “I wonder how can anyone having a wife, mother and sister be so cheap in his references about women” she said stressing that “Alkhilesh tender a public apology .”

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