Congress leader Jitu Patwari is a member of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly (File)
A Madhya Pradesh Congress politician tweeted himself into a major controversy on Wednesday by comparing an array of central schemes, including demonetisation and GST, to “daughters” forced upon the country to get a “son” – Vikas (development).
“People have been hoping for a son but what they got instead was five daughters. All of these daughters were born but a son, Vikas, hasn’t been born yet,” Jitu Patwari, a former education minister and the working president of his party’s state unit, said.
Jitu Patwari is an MLA from the Rau constituency in Madhya Pradesh.
The obnoxious and sexist remark was an attempted attack on the government’s “sabka saath, sabka vikas (with all, development for all)” slogan used freely by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during campaigning for the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Mr Patwari posted an apology, of sorts, shortly after, writing: “I regret if any sentiments have been hurt” and adding “as far as daughters are concerned, they are divine”.
“Modiji broke the back of the country’s economy with demonetisation, GST, inflation, unemployment and recession. The public endured all this only in the hope of development. I regret if any sentiments have been hurt,” he wrote.
Mr Patwari also re-asserted his claim that he had only meant to target the BJP over “its weaknesses” and failed promises to the people.
Among those to lash out at Jitu Patwari was Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, who demanded Congress chief Sonia Gandhi answer for her party colleague’s crass remark.
“As the country is celebrating sacrifice of Rani Durgavati (a mid-16th century queen), he is tweeting that five daughters were born for a son. Is it a crime to have daughters? Has Sonia Gandhi given the task of humiliating daughters to this leader?” Mr Chouhan asked.
The NCW (National Commission for Women) has taken cognisance of Jitu Patwari’s misogynist tweet, with the agency’s chairperson, Rekha Sharma stating “will ask for an explanation from him for sure”.
“It is sad that these people, with this kind of mind-set, are calling themselves leaders. What are they teaching to their followers, I wonder. Will ask for an explanation from him for sure,” the NCW chairperson tweeted in response to a message by BJP spokesperson