Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan has come under fire over his derogatory remarks against women, made during an event on Sunday.
The BJP minister made the statement while attending an event organised by a sugar factory, which also produces liquor under the brand name ‘Maharaja’.
While speaking at the gathering, Mahajan said, “If you want alcohol or any product’s demand to rise, name it after a woman and see how the demand soars.”
His disparaging remarks met with sharp criticism from activists and opposition leaders, following which a complaint was filed against the minister, reported ANI.
Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were among the first to slam the leader for his inappropriate statement.
“The way the minister had made the remark makes me believe that he had consumed four bottles of maharaja (liquor) in the night,” NCP leader Nawab Malik told ANI.
“I think the minister is a habitual drinker and we appeal all the women in Maharashtra to come out and fight this kind of a mindset,” he added.
Sena, meanwhile, condemned Mahajan’s comments in an article published in its mouthpiece Saamana.
“In a lot of places in Maharashtra, women are protesting against the sale of liquor. Even after being aware of it, Maharashtra Minister Mahajan’s remark is very unfortunate,” the article read.
“Bihar Government last year completely banned the sale of liquor. Despite of disputes between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the latter supported the initiative. But in Maharashtra, the BJP’s own minister is giving suggestions on how to increase the sale of alcohol,” it added.
Mahajan is yet to clarify or apologise for his remarks as of publishing this report.