Minister does not regret 'sexist' remark

Minister for khadi and village industry Raja Ram Pandey, who landed in controversy for admiring the beauty of a senior woman official at a public function, on Thursday remained unrepentant. He said he found nothing wrong with it.

“I always admire anything that is beautiful whether it is my daughter, sister, mother or even nature,” Pandey said.

Women activists, who found his remark ‘sexist,’ sharply criticised him but he refused to mince his words.

Terming the minister’s remark as ‘abjectly sexist and improper’, social activist Nutan Thakur complained to the National Women Commission against him.

She has also asked the commission to take cognisance of the serious matter and look into it. Thakur has even pleaded that legal proceedings be initiated against Pandey.

The UP minister had admired beauty of Sultanpur’s district magistrate much to her embarrassment during a public function on  Monday.

Pandey, who is also the in-charge of the district, had said that he was lucky to have women district magistrates in both his tenures. “When I was first made the in-charge of Sultanpur, it had a woman district magistrate,” he had said.

“Mujhe lagta tha ki unse (the first DM) achchi mahila DM nahi ho sakti par ye (current DM) mujhe unse bhi achchi lagti hain,” he had said. (I used to think that no other woman DM could be more beautiful but I find this DM even more beautiful than the first one).

Though the audience, which had many Samajwadi Party workers, cheered and clapped, the district magistrate appeared to be uncomfortable. An SP MLA Ravidas Mehrotra, however, lambasted the minister for his remarks.

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