PATNA: Sharad Yadav, a senior leader of Bihar’s ruling party, gives more importance to the honour of a vote than a daughter’s honour in the latest addition to his “Sexist Comments 101”.
Mr Yadav was laboring a point on the importance of honesty in voting at an event in Patna on Tuesday.
“People need to be educated about the ballot paper. The integrity of a vote is bigger than the integrity of a daughter. If a daughter loses honour, the village loses its honour. But if a vote is sold, the nation will lose its honour,” said the 69-year-old parliamentarian.
The veteran politician, elected to parliament multiple times, warned against voters being lured by parties with bribes and freebies.
His party colleague KC Tyagi attempted to defend him, saying: “Basically, our leader meant that if a girl is married into the wrong family then one family gets affected but if you vote wrong people then the entire society suffers.”
Mr Yadav, who headed Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal United before Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has been in trouble before for his ill-considered comments in parliament and outside.
In 2015, he digressed during a discussion on the insurance bill and started speaking about what he felt was the Indian obsession for people with fair skin. He then took off on a tangent and described the beauty of “saanvli (dusky)” South Indian women.
Angry lawmakers slammed Mr Yadav and called him “sexist” and a misogynist.
When Union Minister Smriti Irani objected to his comments, he snapped controversially, “I know what you really are.”
In the past, he has used the term “parkati auratein (short-haired women)” to argue against the Women’s Quota Bill.
Once again, Twitter has erupted over Mr Yadav’s statement, with one user describing it as “disgusting, derogatory and condemnable”.