After drawing flak for suggesting that use of feminine brand names would boost liquor sales, Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan on Monday apologised for his remarks and said he did not intend to hurt the sentiments of women.
The BJP minister had made the statement on Sunday while attending an event at organised by a sugar factory at Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district. The factory, incidentally, 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.”
A video of his speech was uploaded on YouTube and a police complaint was filed in Chandrapur district against Mahajan for the alleged derogatory statement.
Mahajan responded to the allegations and apologised for his controversial remarks earlier today.
“I regret my remarks. I express my apologies. It wasn’t my intention to hurt women’s sentiments,” the Maharashtra Water Resources Minister told reporters during a press conference.
“This (statement) is a mistake which happened unintentionally. It was not my intention to hurt anyone,” he said, adding that what he said wasn’t aimed at causing pain to women.
“It was said in the flow of things, in a lighter vein,” he said.
The BJP minister’s disparaging remarks had also met with sharp criticism from opposition leaders.
“I think the minister is a habitual drinker and we appeal to all the women in Maharashtra to come out and fight against such a mindset,” NCP state spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
Sena too took potshots at Mahajan in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana, “In a lot of places in Maharashtra, women are protesting against the sale of liquor. Despite being aware of it, Mahajan made these remarks which is unfortunate,” it said.
If you want alcohol or any other thing’s demand to rise,name it after a woman & see how the demand soars says Maharashtra Min Girish Mahajan pic.twitter.com/fEqy64vDzu
— ANI (@ANI) November 5, 2017
With agency inputs