MP tribal minister Vijay Shah quits over sexist remarks



MP tribal minister Vijay Shah quits over sexist remarks Zee Media Bureau

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Tribal and Scheduled Caste Welfare Minister Vijay Shah, who had courted a major controversy over his alleged 'sexist remarks' that even left the ruling BJP government red faced, tendered his resignation to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday.

According to reports, Shah quit after the opposition parties led by Congress took to streets demanding his removal.

The alleged sexist remarks were made by Shah while addressing a function in tribal-dominated Jhabua district two days ago.

Addressing a summer camp organised for tribal girls in Jhabua district, Shah allegedly made indecent comments against Nirmala Bhuria and the chief minister's wife Sadhna Singh.

"Not just one, there are two Nirmala Bhurias. I asked Nirmala Bhuriaji, who is the woman next to you. She said Nirmala Bhuria. I realised that in Jhabua, there is an offer going on, buy one get one free. It is like one in the market," he said.

"Nirmala Bhuria said I have also studied but only till April but not in May and June as it is really hot at that time... Do women feel hot? Really ? Brothers, what do you think? Is it true?" he quipped.

"Our second Nirmalaji was quiet... She did not like it that Rs.5 lakh were given. Don't worry at all madam, we are arranging Rs.10 crore for you. Now smile please. (laughs amidst applause). Don't be so tense. If Nirmalaji would not laugh the money would be cancelled," Shah reportedly said.

What raised the hackles of BJP was a passing reference Shah allegedly made about the wife of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during his speech.

"The party has taken the issue seriously and it is totally unacceptable to it. We have asked him (Shah) to clarify his position on the matter,” BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar said earlier.

Shah later tendered an apology and accused the media of "misconstruing" his remarks by taking them out of context.

"If anyone felt offended by my speech, I apologise ten times. Whatever I said was in a lighter vein but it was distorted by the media", he said.

However, Shah's apology failed to cool the tempers with opposition Congress taking to streets against his "derogatory" remarks.

The women wing of state Congress burnt his effigies at Jhabua, Indore, Bhopal and Khandwa among other places even as the State Women Congress president Archana Jaiswal demanded immediate sacking of the minister and also questioned the "silence" of leaders of BJP women wing on the issue.

State Congress president Kantilal Bhuria and the Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh said "The episode has exposed Chouhan's much publicised respect for women".

"If he (Chouhan) has any concern for women's respect, then he should immediately dismiss the minister from the cabinet", they said addressing a party rally in Mandla district on Tuesday.

With PTI inputs