Delhi mayor fumes over jacket jibe

October 17th, 2008 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) Opposition leader Jai Kishan Sharma’s comments on Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra’s signature jacket has led to the exchange of many a political barb in the past week. The mayor has now lashed out at the Congress leader, saying he has a “sick mind” and demanded a public apology. “The leader of opposition has a sick mind - there is something wrong with his mindset. Who is he to make public remarks about what I wear?” Mehra, who is from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told IANS Friday.

Over 10 days ago, Sharma, from the Congress, had commented on the mayor wearing her trademark Nehru jacket in the city’s warm weather with “so much attitude as if it were a bulletproof jacket”, sparking a heated political skirmish here.

Mehra explained that she had been sporting the high collared Nehru jacket for 12 years since her days in student politics.

“He has tried and failed to make a mockery of my dressing sense. Instead, his crude mind is out in the open!” an angry Mehra remarked.

The issue, for which the opposition leader from the Congress has already faced flak from media and gender groups, was dragged into the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) house meeting here Thursday, as women BJP councillors climbed onto their seats and shouted slogans against Sharma.

Many women councillors also termed the remarks as “sexual harassment”. They said that if “the man would stoop so low as to passing comments” on the first citizen of the city he was “capable of worse”.

“For all you know he may go up to President Pratibha Patil and say that her full-sleeved blouse was not ’suited for the city’s weather’. It is a question of personal style, and he has no right!” Mehra asserted.

Sharma had earlier in the week issued a statement to the press, in which he had said that Mehra “was like a sister” and he had “passed the comment in jest”.

This, according to Mehra, was Sharma “accepting that he was wrong”. She added: “I will forgive him if he apologises in public before the house!”

Asked if the row would be raised in the upcoming state elections, Mehra was quick to add that the incident was “not worthy” of it.

She said: “Sheila Dikshit (the chief minister) has made ample insensitive remarks on the nature of working women being ‘adventurous’ and other such comments. Personally, I will be happy to let this go once he apologises.”

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