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Kumaraswamy apologises after row over 'women have lost their way due to Congress guarantees' remark

The Congress accused Kumaraswamy of 'humiliating' women. While Mahila Congress members staged a protest against Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the JD(S) leader’s statement was 'a reflection of his mentality'.
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 09:12 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 09:12 IST

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Bengaluru: Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) tendered an apology after his remarks on rural women "losing their way" ignited a controversy.

“I apologise to all women. If my words have hurt them, I’m willing to apologise. My words weren't meant to hurt any woman,” Kumaraswamy said on Monday in an apparent damage-control effort.

During a roadshow in Tumakuru on Saturday, Kumaraswamy had said, “After the implementation of the Congress' guarantee schemes, some of our mothers in the villages have lost their way (daaritappiddare)...”

The Congress accused Kumaraswamy of “humiliating” women. While Mahila Congress members staged a protest against Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the JD(S) leader’s statement was “a reflection of his mentality”. Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said the remarks were “a big humiliation” for women.

Kumaraswamy pointed out that he had referred to women as “our mothers” and said, “This in itself shows my respect for women.”

Kumaraswamy charged the Congress with trying to tarnish his image. “I was referring to the Congress’ guarantees. I was trying to convey to all my mothers in the state that they shouldn’t take the wrong track by voting for the Congress because of the guarantees,” he said.

Kumaraswamy also said he was trying to make women understand that while the government gives them Rs 2,000 a month, their husbands are being “pick-pocketed” of Rs 5,000-6,000.

The JD(S) leader, who is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Mandya, recalled “sexist” remarks made by various Congress leaders, including AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, on BJP’s Hema Malini and Kangana Ranaut. “What do you have to say about that, Mr D K Shviakumar?” Kumaraswamy asked.

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Published 15 April 2024, 09:12 IST

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