Facing flak for remarks against Mayawati, BJP MLA apologises
New Delhi : Facing condemnation from political opponents and the National Commission for Women (NCW) taking cognisance of the issue, BJP MLA Sadhana Singh on Sunday apologised for her disparaging remarks against Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.
Singh, who represents Mughalsarai in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, at a rally on Saturday had called Mayawati "worse than a transgender" and accused her of being an "opportunist" for aligning with once arch rival Samajwadi Party (SP).
"The day a woman's blouse, petticoat and saree are torn, she comes forward to participate in politics. She is a disgrace to the nation's women. She is worse than a kinnar (transgender), because she is neither a man nor a woman," Singh had said in her address, the video of which has gone viral.
Facing flak, Singh issued a statement saying she did not intend to insult anyone.
"During my address, I did not intend to insult anyone. I only intended to highlight the June 2 1995 incident and remind (Mayawati) about how the BJP had helped her at that time. If my words have hurt anyone, I express my regret," Singh said in the statement.
She referred to the 1995 incident when SP leaders had allegedly attempted to assault Mayawati at the VVIP guesthouse in Lucknow after she had withdrawn support to the then Mulayam Singh Yadav-led SP government in Uttar Pradesh.
Besides the NCW issuing a notice seeking her explanation, Singh came under intense attack from the opposition, including the Congress and SP.
"Such derogatory statements are unbecoming of a leader and are highly condemnable. The NCW has taken suo motu cognisance and will be sending a notice to Sadhana Singh tomorrow," said NCW chief Rekha Sharma.
Condemning the remarks, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said: "One may have differences on issues and ideas, but it is disturbing that this woman represents the ruling party in UP.
"It is disturbing to hear a woman speak in such a derogatory way about another woman and to see people in the audience cheering such words," she added.
In his remarks, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said Singh's words reflected the BJP's "political bankruptcy" and indicated its nervousness over the SP-BSP alliance.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav demanded booking Singh under the SC And ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act.
"BJP MLA Sadhana Singh should be booked under SC/ST Act. Mayawati Ji represents not only the women of this country, but also the Dalits, Bahujan and downtrodden sections of India. Any disrespect to her will not be tolerated by us," tweeted Tejashwi Yadav.
BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra said Singh's words reflected "mental illness."