In what can be dubbed as a 'despicable show of patriarchy and utter disrespect towards women', Chhattisgarh Minister Kawasi Lakhma compared the roads in his area with the "cheeks" of veteran actress Hema Malini who is also a Bharatiya Janata Party MP. He drew the brazen comparison while speaking at an event in Dhamtari on November 11.
"It has been just a few months since I became a minister in the state. I come from a Naxalite area but I have built roads there, just like Hema Malini's cheeks," said Kawasi Lakhma irrespective of the presence of other women.
However, it is not for the first time that Lakhma has made such a controversial statement. Earlier in September, he faced criticism from the Opposition for asking students to "grab Collector and Superintendents of Police by their collars" to become a leader. He raked the controversy while addressing an event at a school in Sukma on September 5.
"A student asked me 'you have become a big leader. How did you do that? What should I do?' I told him, grab the Collector and SP by their collars, then you will become a leader," Lakhma had said. However, he had then clarified that his statement was misconstrued.
Earlier a Madhya Pradesh cabinet minister PC Sharma had also made a similar comment. He had promised to make roads in the state like “cheeks” of Lok Sabha member and film star Hema Malini. The minister made the statement while on an inspection in Bhopal’s Habibganj area.
Speaking to the media Sharma said, “Roads in Madhya Pradesh were built like that of Washington. What has happened to these roads now? After heavy rain, there are potholes everywhere. Presently, the condition of roads is like stains of smallpox. It seems that the condition of the roads has become like the cheeks of Kailash Vijayvargiya. These roads will be repaired within 15 days on the orders of Chief Minister Kamal Nath. Very soon we will make these roads like cheeks of Hema Malini.”
Sharma’s comments came after Gopal Bhargava, the leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh assembly, last week criticised the Kamal Nath government over the deteriorating condition of roads in the state.
(with ANI inputs)