Sonbhadra/Lucknow: Police here have registered a case against Congress leader Ajay Rai for his "latka-jhatka" remark against Union minister Smriti Irani, an official said on Tuesday.
The Uttar Pradesh Congress leader on Monday took a jibe at Irani here, saying she only comes to her constituency Amethi to show "latkas" and "jhatkas", an unflattering reference to dance moves that provoked a sharp response from the BJP.
With his comment courting controversy, Rai told PTI that the terminology was part of the regional dialect and there was nothing obscene about it.
Station House Officer of Robertsganj Police Station, Balmukund Mishra, told PTI, "A case has been registered against Ajay Rai on the complaint lodged by BJP's mahila morcha head of Sonbhdra Pushpa Singh at the Robertsganj Police Station." The case has been registered under sections 354(A) (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
Asked if Gandhi will contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections from Amethi, Rai had told reporters, "It has been the seat of the Gandhi family. Rahul ji has been the Lok Sabha MP from there. So has been Rajiv (Gandhi) ji and Sanjay (Gandhi) ji, and they have served it." "Most of the factories in Amethi are on the verge of closure. Half of the factories in Jagdishpur industrial area are lying shut. Smriti Irani only comes, shows 'latka-jhatka', and leaves," Rai, who is a regional chief of the party, had said.
Currently, Amethi is represented in Lok Sabha by Union Minister for Women and Child Development Irani.
Responding to the statement, Irani said Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi needed a new scriptwriter.
"You and Mummy ji need to get your mysoginistic (misogynist) goons a new speechwriter," the Union Minister for Women and Child Development had said.
Rai said "latka-jhatka" terminology was part of the regional dialect which the people use frequently.
"There is no obscenity in the word 'latka-jhatka' which is a commonly used term in the regional dialect in Poorvanchal especially. Afraid of the success of 'Bharat Jodo' yatra the BJP leaders are trying to make an issue out of nothing," Rai, who had contested against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 as well 2019 general elections in Varanasi, said over the phone.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)