Cong demands apology from Khattar for remarks on Sonia

Haryana Congress president and former Union minister Kumari Selja said people would never forgive Khattar for the indecent language he used for Gandhi. PTI file photo

The Congress slammed Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday for his "deplorable" remarks against party chief Sonia Gandhi and demanded an unconditional apology from him.

Haryana Congress president and former Union minister Kumari Selja said people would never forgive Khattar for the indecent language he used for Gandhi.

She also criticised Khattar for his reported remarks that "Haryana's men can now marry women from Kashmir" after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev said Khattar's remarks against the Congress president were a clear reflection of his and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) disrespectful attitude towards women. 

"We in the Congress are committed to upholding the dignity in public life, but as a woman, I take offence to the disgraceful remark made and demand an unconditional apology," she said in a statement.

Khattar targeted Gandhi on Sunday over her return as the Congress chief, using the Hindi proverb "khoda pahad nikli chuhiya".

"People will never forgive you (Khattar) for the indecent language you used for the Congress president," Selja said, while addressing a public rally at Nuh in Haryana.

She added that Khattar's mindset towards women was known to all.

Selja also recalled the chief minister's reported "women from Kashmir" remarks that triggered a controversy a few months ago.

In a tweet, Congress leader Asha Kumari also condemned Khattar, saying, "A serial offender, CM ML Khattar has no qualms about putting women respect on line to satiate political ambitions! My heart goes out to women in Haryana who had to put up with this regressive leadership for 5 years, which will find its befitting end on 21st."

The Assembly polls will be held in Haryana on October 21 and the results will be announced on October 24.

In her statement, Dev said, "I strongly and unequivocally condemn Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's remarks against Congress President Sonia Gandhiji. His remarks against the Congress President are deplorable and unparliamentary, it is a clear reflection of his and the BJP's disrespectful attitude towards women."

She said lowering the discourse was an attempt to divert attention from the real issues that were being evaded such as joblessness and the acute economic slowdown.

"Can anyone deny that Haryana has become the rape capital of India," Dev alleged, adding that incidents of kidnapping and abduction were also on the rise in the state.

The chief minister of Haryana, she said, had no answers to the real issues that were adversely impacting the people of the state, especially women.

The Mahila Congress chief charged that Khattar's "beti bachao gang" had failed as Haryana had the fourth highest crime rate in the country and there was a shocking shortfall in police manpower in the state.

At 27 per cent, the shortfall was highest among the northern states and almost four times as high as the deficit in Congress-ruled Punjab, she alleged.

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