The state president of Uttarakhand’s BJP Bansidhar Bhagat is presently at the receiving end of severe backlash and criticism from the state’s Congress Party and also his own party. This is due to his derogatory, sexist and ageist remarks on the Leader of Opposition and a senior Congress leader, Indira Hridayesh. The state BJP Chief called the senior leader of Congress ‘Buddhiya‘, which means an old woman while addressing the workers of his party in an event in Bhimtal, Nainital on Tuesday evening.
In the address, he said, “Humari neta-pratipaksha keh rahi hain ki ‘bahut se vidhayak humare sampark me hain’…Arre budhiya! Tujhse kyun sampark karenge??? Doobte jahaanz se koi sampark karega kya?” (Our Leader of Opposition claims that several MLAs from my party are in touch with her. Why would they contact an old woman? Why would they want to go for a sinking ship?)
This pejorative remark against the female leader came in response to her reported claim that many BJP MLAs were looking forth to switch from their current party to Indian National Congress. The audience in the event could be heard laughing and applauding the disrespectful remark, as seen in the video.
After the video reached the opposition party and the Internet, Bansidhar Bhagat received a huge backlash from everyone alike. The Congress leaders of Uttarakhand demanded an immediate apology from the BJP Chief. Meanwhile, some of the party members have burned his effigy, alleging his comment was an insult to women and mothers.
भगत जी संभालो जबान,
नहीं सहेंगे महिला अपमान।
नेता प्रतिपक्ष श्रीमती @IndiraHridayesh जी पर की गई अत्यंत अभद्र टिप्पणी के विरोध में आज एस्टले हॉल में @BJP4UK अध्यक्ष श्री @BansidharBhagat का पुतला दहन किया। @INCUttarakhand महिला विरोधी व्यक्तव्यों को कत्तई बर्दाश्त नहीं करेगी। pic.twitter.com/u1jhzUnJ3Z
— Pritam Singh (@pritamSpcc) January 6, 2021
Furthermore, Congress state president Pritam Singh also condemned the remark and demanded an apology from Bhagat.
“His words just show the sort of mentality BJP leaders have towards women. He should offer an apology immediately for his highly condemnable language,” he captioned.
मुख आबै सो कहै बोले नहीं बिचार
हाते परै आत्मा, जीव बांधी तरवार@BJP4UK अध्यक्ष @BansidharBhagat जी की नेताप्रतिपक्ष जैसे महत्वपूर्ण पद पर आसीन @IndiraHridayesh जी पर की गई अभद्र टिप्पणी अत्यंत निंदनीय व भाजपा की महिला संदर्भित सोच की परिचायक है।वे तत्काल इंदिरा जी से माफी मांगें।
— Pritam Singh (@pritamSpcc) January 5, 2021
Indira Hridayesh’s reaction
In response to the derogatory comments against her, senior leader Indira Hridayesh firmly stated, “I was deeply hurt and disappointed with the kind of derogatory and highly disrespectful language used by BJP state president who symbolizes the ideals of the party. If he uses such language, then it is an insult to the motherhood which the women of our hills will never tolerate. Those raising the slogan of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao should at least take care of their language.”
She further added that she won’t stoop down to a low level and reply in coarse language. However, she urged the BJP governments in both state and the Centre to take notice of the incident and hold the leader accountable for his actions.
सोशल मीडिया के माध्यम से मुझे @BJP4UK के अध्यक्ष श्री@bansidharbhagat की महिलाओं के प्रति तुच्छ सोच का पता चला। भीमताल में भाजपा की एक बैठक में, उम्र में खुद से बड़ी महिला के प्रति कहे गए शब्द उनकी छोटी सोच और तुच्छ मानसिकता का परिचय देते है। इस प्रकार की अशोभनीय भाषा किसी भी … pic.twitter.com/jfr25lJXnp
— Dr. Indira Hridayesh (@IndiraHridayesh) January 5, 2021
Apology from Uttarakhand CM
Amidst the widespread condemnation of BJP Chief and the party as well, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat apologised to Indira Hridayesh.
He tweeted on his official handle that he was extremely sad to hear about what had happened. He emphasised that this was not a sentiment shared by him, adding that women were ‘respected and revered’ by them. “I personally want to apologise to you and all others who have been hurt by the unexpected remark.” he further captioned.
The Chief Minister further said that he would personally apologise to the senior woman leader on Wednesday.
आदरणीय @IndiraHridayesh बहिन जी आज मैं अति दुखी हूँ । महिला हमारे लिए अति सम्मानित व पूज्या हैं। मैं व्यक्तिगत रूप से आपसे व उन सभी से क्षमा चाहता हँ जो मेरी तरह दुखी हैं। मैं कल आपसे व्यक्तिगत बात करूँगा व पुनः क्षमा याचना करूँगा। 🙏🏻🙏🏻
— Trivendra Singh Rawat (@tsrawatbjp) January 5, 2021
Also Read: Sexist Slurs: 5 Times Indian Politicians Shamed Women