Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday lashed out at former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for claiming that Shiv Sena members were “wearing bangles”, and demanded an immediate apology for his sexist remark. Fadnavis on Tuesday had targeted the Shiv Sena for their silence on All India Majlis-e-Ittahadul Muslimeen leader Waris Pathan’s controversial remark suggesting that Indian Muslims should dominate other communities.
Thackeray said Fadnavis’ remark was in bad taste. “Shri [Devendra Fadnavis]ji, normally I choose not to comment back,” he tweeted. “Kindly apologise about [the] bangles comment: bangles are worn by the strongest of all – the women. Politics can go on, but we need to change this discourse. Rather disgraceful coming from a former chief minister.”
While addressing a rally in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, organised to protest against the Maharashtra government regarding farmers’ and women’s issues, Fadnavis had said: “Shiv Sena might be wearing bangles but we [the Bharatiya Janata Party] are not. If someone says something then he will be given an answer in the same way.”
Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Clyde Crasto also criticised Fadnavis for his comments. “A shameful statement from the ex Chief Minister of Maharashtra,” he said. “A misogynist who is insinuating that women are weak. This is their sick mindset. He should apologise for this statement,”
Earlier this month, Waris Pathan at a rally in Karnataka had said, “To those saying we have only put our women at the forefront – only the lionesses are out and you’re already sweating. Imagine what would happen if we all came together. We are 15 crore, but that can outweigh 100 crore, remember that.” Pathan had said in the context of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Pathan later withdrew his statement, after it was strongly condemned by politicians and leaders cutting across party lines, saying he had no intentions of hurting the sentiments of any community.
However, he claimed that his remark was being “twisted” to defame him and AIMIM, which he called a “political conspiracy”. “However, I take back my words if they hurt anyone and apologise for the same,” Pathan told reporters in Mumbai. “I am a true and proud citizen of this country.”
On Saturday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the state police was investigating Pathan’s comments, Hindustan Times reported. Deshmukh, who is from the Nationalist Congress Party, added that if necessary, his department would take appropriate action against Pathan.