BHOPAL: As the make or break 28 assembly by-elections draw closer in Madhya Pradesh, politics has started stooping to new lows in the BJP-ruled state.
A day after a political storm erupted over ex-CM and present state Congress president Kamal Nath referring to state’s cabinet minister and BJP candidate Imarti Devi as “item,” a fresh political row was triggered by state’s food and civil supplies minister Bisahulal Singh, who termed his rival Congress candidate Vishwanath Singh’s wife as rakhail (concubine).
Considered one of the senior tribal politicians of the state, the cabinet minister Bisahulal Singh, who is seeking re-election from the Anuppur seat of Anuppur district.
Talking to journalists, Singh questioned why the Congress candidate didn’t mention his first wife in the by-poll nomination form. “Vishwanath Singh (the Congress candidate) hasn’t mentioned in the nomination form about his first wife, but has instead mentioned only about his 'rakhail' aurat (concubine) in the form,” Singh said while talking to journalists.
The minister also threatened to ensure misery and dire consequences for the Anuppur district Congress president Jaiprakash Agrawal after November 3, which is the date of the by-poll.
According to Congress sources, the party candidate Vishwanath Singh’s first wife died many years back, after which he married Rajwati Singh. As Rajwati Singh is his legally married surviving wife, the Congress candidate has consequently mentioned her name in the affidavit filed with the nomination form.
Taking strong objection to the BJP candidate and MP cabinet minister Bisahulal Singh using a derogatory word for his wife, the Congress candidate from Anuppur seat Vishwanath Singh said, "such references can only be made by a man who possesses such character. The derogatory word used for my wife is defamatory. She is my wife and I've two children. I'll file a defamation suit against Bisahulal Singh for using the derogatory word for my wife."
Importantly, the wife of the Congress candidate is an elected sarpanch of Khamaria village of Anuppur district.
Condemning the MP minister's objectionable reference to the Congress candidate's wife, the state Congress spokesperson Durgesh Sharma tweeted on Monday, “The MP minister’s statement about rival candidate’s wife is so shameful and abusive for women that I can’t write on the Twitter the derogatory word used for her. Now the CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other BJP leaders need to tell us the date when they will hold a silent protest and apologise for this insult to a legally wedded woman by their minister,” Sharma wrote on Twitter.
State BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal, when contacted in the matter, however, said he is yet to find out what the cabinet minister has actually said.
Once considered close to ex-CM Digvijaya Singh, the MP minister Bisahulal Singh was among the 22 Congress MLAs, who had resigned from the Vidhan Sabha and then joined the BJP in March, scripting the fall of the Kamal Nath-led 15-month-old Congress government.