VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday defended Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, wondering how could one find fault with his observation that women should not confine themselves to home but should come out and face challenges boldly. Replying to a question at a news conference at the Secretariat in Velagapudi, the Chief Minister termed Kodela's remarks “expression problem” and went on to clarify and then, castigate the media for “quoting” him out of context.
Naidu was referring to the Speaker's comments at a recent meet the press programme wherein the latter said, “If an automobile is parked in the garage, nothing happens to it. Only when one takes it
out and drives it on the road, does it get dents. Similarly, women too, if they stay put indoors, nothing would happen. If they come out for jobs or business, only then do they face problems." He went on to explain that women should not confine themselves to the four walls of the house but should come out and face challenges with courage. These comments kicked up a furore in the social media, coming as they did just before the National Women's Parliament.
Naidu asserted that the Speaker did not have gender prejudice. The visibly angry Chief Minister slammed the media for “making an issue out of a non-issue” and alleged that such things were happening since the “media thinks none can touch them and they could get away with whatever they write." He called it mockery of democracy and advised the media to exercise restraint.
“Gong beyond a limit is wrong not only for the political class but also for the media,” he pointed out. Naidu, who was also upset with YSRC legislator Roja for her histrionics, quipped, "One drop of poison is enough to convert an entire container of milk poisonous” — implying that it was an attempt to defame the National Women's Parliament. Defending the detention of Roja at the Gannavaram airport, Naidu questioned, "When they (YSRC) openly declared that their sole intention in attending the NWP was to spoil it, how could the police allow her,?" He added that had the police not acted against her, he would have acted against them. "We welcome constructive suggestions from the opposition. At the same time, will have to act firm if the parties conspire to play politics on the basis of caste, religion and region," he cautioned.