MUMBAI: A police complaint has been filed against Maharashtra water resources minister and BJP leader Girish Mahajan over his remarks suggesting that using feminine brand names could boost liquor sale.
The complaint was filed against the minister by Shramik Elgaar, an unorganised sector labour union, president and activist Paromita Goswami at the Mul police station in the district on Sunday.
On Sunday, Mahajan at an event organised at a sugar factory said, “These days most of the products are sold in the name of women. Tobacco products are sold only because they are named after women. If you feel that liquor products should be sold on top priority, instead of ‘Maharaja’, they should be named as ‘Maharani’.”
However, after facing an angry backlash from women’s rights activists and opposition parties for suggesting that liquor brands be named after females to boost sales, Mahajan tendered an unconditional apology on Monday for his remarks.Speaking to newspersons at his official residence in Mumbai, Mahajan said “I attended Satpuda Sugar factory function at Shahada on Sunday where the person who spoke before me raised the issue of liquor sale not getting a boost. Keeping in line with the issue I casually spoke without realising. “It was a remark made in jest. I had no intentions of hurting the sentiments of women. I apologize,” he said.
However, Goswami said the minister has “insulted” women by suggesting that giving feminine names to brands would boost the sales of liquour.She said, “As per the provisions under Article 47 of the Constitution, the government is supposed to implement liquor ban in the state. I was simply taken aback by the statement by a minister and hence have lodged a police complaint.” She also threatened to launch a protest if the police failed to register an FIR against the minister.