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Sharad comments sparks women furore in Bihar

PATNA: Women organisations in Bihar have flayed senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav for his comments that “honour of vote was more important than that of daughter’s.”

Even as different social organisations on Wednesday castigated the JD(U) leader for comparing the dignity of women with votes, Yadav defended himself, when he said: “The love for vote and daughter should be equal. I said nothing wrong (on Tuesday). You should love your vote as much as you love your daughter. Only then you will get a good government and the nation will progress.”

Yadav’s defence, however, failed to assuage the hurt sentiments of women.

Advocate and social activist Sudha Varghese, a recipient of the Padma Shri, said Yadav’s comments reflected his cheap mentality and the lowest ebb of politics he was pursuing to capture power.

“He does not know what it means to have a woman as wife or daughter. He has no idea of relationships. Such leaders should not open their mouth to talk about women and girls. For them, it all boils down to capturing power and holding on to the seat of power by hook or by crook. It’s an irony that senior, experienced leaders like Yadav lack even political education.”

Varghese said it were such leaders who were opposing the women’s reservation bill, which seeks to have one-third reservation for the fairer sex in legislature, because they know they will have to vacate 200 seats in parliament.

“Leaders like Yadav eat, sleep, drink and talk of votes because of their lust for power for self and family,” she added.

Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), Bihar unit, Shashi Yadav, said the JD(U) leader’s comments reflected his male chauvinism and also displayed his bias against women. She said it was Sharad Yadav who had opposed the women’s reservation bill tooth and nail.

Critising the JD(U) MP for comparing honour of votes with women, state coordinator of the Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch, Keerti, said political leaders should not take such regressive examples. “Instead, they should scout for new, progressive examples. I am opposed to the very idea of linking daughters with decorum because it automatically imposes restrictions on them.

Yadav, a Rajya Sabha member, had on Tuesday said, “Ye beti ki izzat se bhi vote ki izzat badi hai. Beti ki izzat jayegi to gaon aur mohalle ki izzat jayegi. Aur vote ek bar bik gaya, or ek baar gadbad ho gaya to ilake ki, desh ki aabaroo or aane wala sapna kabhi poora nahi hoga (If a daughter’s honour is violated, it only affects the village or community, but if a vote is sold, it impacts the entire nation. All our dreams for the future evaporate).”

Yadav had said this while speaking on the occasion of birth anniversary of former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur.

Meanwhile, JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi said Yadav had been wrongly quoted. What he said was just a metaphor to point out that money power in electoral politics was a dangerous trend, Tyagi added.

Source: HindustanTimes