“The honour of being able to cast a vote is above a daughter’s honour,” Janata Dal(United) leader Sharad Yadav said in Patna on Tuesday. “It is important to educate people about how the ballot works.”
Yadav is seen making the remarks in a video shot by ANI. Explaining his comments, he said: “If a daughter’s honour is violated, her neighbourhood and village lose their respectability. But if a vote is sold, it affects the entire country.”
The Rajya Sabha MP, who was the president of the JD(U), on Wednesday attempted to clarify his remarks. He told ANI: “I did not say anything wrong. We should love our right to vote as much as we love our daughters, which is how the country and government will improve.” He said, “This is an image that vote and daughter, both are a matter of honour. I didn’t say anything demeaning. Everyone’s perspective is different but those who are taking it wrongly are misleading others as well. It is not appropriate.”
Yadav was issued a notice by the National Commission for Women after he made the comments.
Yadav is not new to making sexist statements. In March, he had abused Union minister Smriti Irani in Parliament when she had stopped him for commenting on savali or dark-skinned women. While she had used civil language, Yadav said, “Kaun hain aap? Ye aap kya hain, main jaanta hoon. [Who are you? I know what you are].”