Mumbai, May 26: Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil has stirred a controversy with his comments asking NCP MP Supriya Sule to "go home and cook" instead of being in politics, drawing a sharp reaction from her party.
Patil made the remarks on Wednesday during a protest by the state BJP unit in Mumbai for seeking reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in elections.
However, the BJP leader on Thursday said his words were part of a "rural style" of speaking and that he did not mean to disrespect women or Sule, who is the daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Civilian Killings Belie Claims of Normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, Says Mehbooba Mufti.
"Whenever I meet Sule, we always greet each other with respect,” Patil said.
After the Supreme Court recently allowed reservation for the OBCs in local body elections in Madhya Pradesh, Sule, whose party shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra, had said she had contacted MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan during his Delhi visit, but he did not divulge what he did to get nod for the reservation.
On Wednesday, Patil, during the BJP's protest, hit out at Sule, saying, "Why are you (Sule) even in politics, just go home and cook. Go to Delhi or to a cemetery, but get us the OBC quota. Despite being a Lok Sabha member, how come you don't know how to get an appointment with chief minister."
Taking a dim view of Patil's remarks, NCP's state women wing president Vidya Chavan, without taking his name, said a person who denied ticket to a sitting woman MLA and contested from her constituency is bad-mouthing an MP, who has been honoured with the Sansad Ratna award (for good performance) twice.
"We know you believe in Manusmriti, but we will not remain silent anymore," she said.
"He should learn to make chapattis so that he can help his wife at home," the NCP leader quipped.
Patil, who hails from Kolhapur, contested the 2019 state Assembly election from Pune's Kothrud seat, where sitting BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni was denied the ticket to make way for him.
I am proud of my wife who is a homemaker, mother and a SUCCESSFUL politician, one amongst many other hardworking and talented women in India….this is an insult to all women….
— sadanandsule (@sadanandsule) May 25, 2022
Supriya Sule's husband Sadanand Sule also in a social media post criticised Patil's remarks, saying, "This is the Maharashtra BJP president speaking about Supriya. I have always maintained that they (BJP) are misogynistic and demean women whenever they can."
"I am proud of my wife who is a homemaker, mother and a successful politician, one amongst many other hardworking and talented women in India. This is an insult to all women,” he said.
However, Patil on Thursday claimed his comments were blown out of proportion.
"My words were part of a style of speaking found commonly in rural parts of Maharashtra. At times, women in villages tell their children to go to a graveyard if they can't do certain things,” he said.
The BJP leader also said leaving aside the “cook” remarks, nothing else in his comments was demeaning or insensitive towards women.
“Similar is the case with the 'go to a cemetery' comment. The MVA government's failure to secure the OBC quota in civic bodies (elections) prompted me to say it. You will find many people using such words,” he said.
Patil also said that Sadanand Sule should learn about the village life.
"There are many such proverbs used in rural areas...My comments have been blown out of proportion. Even Supriya Sule has responded to my comments considerately, saying I have the right to make comments,” he said.