Naqvi draws flak for remarks against women protesters

December 2nd, 2008 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is drawing flak for his remarks that some women “wearing lipstick and powder” were running down politicians in Mumbai, with a group holding protests outside the party headquarters here Tuesday.Around 25 protesters from the voluntary organisation Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD) carried lipsticks and talcum powder boxes with them, besides placards. They asked passers-by to sign a statement condemning the BJP leader’s remarks and demanding an apology from the BJP.

“Shame on BJP’s politics of reaping hate harvest from terror tragedy,” read a placard. “Stop dividing the nation,” read another.

ANHAD’s Shabnam Hashmi told IANS: “Women who use lipsticks and powder also have a right to protest. Democracy does not debar them.”

Naqvi Monday evening said: “Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to the streets in Mumbai and are abusing politicians, spreading disaffection against democracy.”

“This is what terrorists are doing in Jammu and Kashmir. Instead of saying ‘Pakistan murdabad’ (down with Pakistan), they are saying ‘politicians murdabad’,” he said, referring to protests against the perceived inefficiency of the political leadership in preventing the terrorist strike that claimed 183 lives last week.

“These women have no faith in democracy and are similar to separatists who also worked with the same motive. There should be an inquiry into who these protesters are,” Naqvi told reporters in response to a query about the protests against politicians in Mumbai.

The BJP Tuesday distanced itself from Naqvi’s remarks. Party general secretary Arun Jaitley told reporters the comment might be Naqvi’s personal opinion.

“An expression of dissent should be dignified. This statement has gone beyond that,” Jaitley said.

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