Congress leader Gurudas Kamat on Saturday said he was quoted out of context after his comments targetting Union minister Smriti Irani's humble past made during a rally in Rajasthan sparked massive outrage both on and offline for degrading the dignity of labour.
Kamat said the Human Resouces Development Minister was a "poncha lagane waali (one who mops floors)" in the past and questioned her credentials to be in charge of the important education portfolio.
NDTV reported that Kamat was today issued a notice from the women’s panel for his remarks against Irani.
"Her family's financial condition was not good; therefore, she worked in a hotel in Versova. Since, Smriti was only 10th pass, she used to mop floors," NDTV quoted Kamat as saying.
This is what Kamat tweeted today.
Words twisted out of context. Never degraded work in McDonalds, questioned qualifications to handle imp HRD Ministry. pic.twitter.com/S9BMLtb6a9— Gurudas Kamat (@KamatGurudas) August 1, 2015
People tweeted their outrage.
Gurudas Kamat has managed to trash dignity of labour, poverty and women all in the space of a minute. Takes practice.— Sanjay Kaul (@sanjay_kaul) July 31, 2015
The derision for someone jisne ponchha lagaya. Dignity of labour, anyone? https://t.co/Bo9n55ye55— Padmaja joshi (@PadmajaJoshi) July 31, 2015
Home makers & working women- The Kaamwali Bai hold up Half The Sky.August 1, 2015
Congress defended Kamat's comments saying that he only repeated what many BJP members have already stated before.
“So Kamat ji had said that Modi ji must have been impressed by one such character played by Smriti Irani and that is why he gave her a portfolio for which she does not have the minimum qualifications, especially overlooking the fact that she had protested against him when he was the Gujarat chief minister,” state Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma was quoted as saying.
BJP slammed the comments made against Irani.
Rajasthan's BJP chief Ashok Parnami was quoted as saying that "These sort of shallow statements against women show the Congress’ desperation."