Katiyar’s remark on Priyanka sparks off war of words

RSTV Bureau
FILE: New Delhi: File photo of Priyanka Gandhi with Congress leaders in New Delhi.  Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi: File photo of Priyanka Gandhi with Congress leaders in New Delhi.
Photo – PTI

BJP leader Vinay Katiyar has stoked a major controversy with his remarks on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi. Snapping back at Katiyar, the Congress party’s star campaigner in Uttar Pradesh said his remarks “exposes BJP’s mindset”.

Speaking to the news reporters on Tuesday over the campaign strategies of various parties in the upcoming UP assembly polls, Vinay Katiyar had said there are “more beautiful women star campaigners than Priyanka Gandhi.”

“It doesn’t matter…there are girls and women who are more beautiful than her (Priyanka) and are also star campaigners… Some of them are artists and heroines…they are more beautiful than her,” Katiyar, who was once BJP’s state unit chief, had said.

Ironically, the remarks have come from a leader whose own name is missing from the list of campaigners his party has chosen in Uttar Pradesh.

Retorting back at Katiyar, Priyanka Gandhi today said it exposes the BJP’s mindset towards the better half of the country’s population.

“…If that’s all he sees in my colleagues who are such strong, brave and beautiful women that have battled through all sorts of hardships to get where they are, then he makes me laugh even more. Because he exposes the BJP’s mindset towards the better half of the population of India!!!,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a response as shared by her top aide Preeti Sahai on micro-blogging site Twitter.

FILE: New Delhi: BJP headquarters in New Delhi. Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi: BJP headquarters in New Delhi.
Photo – PTI

The Congress party too hit out at Katiyar, saying it reflects the “petty and insulting culture of BJP that commodifies women”.

The principal opposition party has also demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief AMit Shah for Vinay Katiyar’s remarks.

“BJP has insulted India’s womanhood. Such conduct, behaviour and words prove BJP’s mentality. Time for PM Modi and Amit Shah to apologise,” Congress chief spokesperson RS Surjewala said, adding “BJP-RSS suffer from a deep rooted and retrograde anti-women mindset. There is a long list led by Mohan Bhagwat and Kailash Vijayvargiya”.

Though Katiyar has refused to apologise so far, he has been trying to downplay his remarks appearing on various news channels through the day.

“..It is wrong and unfair to compare beauty with capability but Congress is doing this…,” he is reported to have said, adding it was an internal matter of Congress as to whom they want to appoint as their campaigner.

(With inputs from the PTI)