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K’taka BJP Corporator Apologizes Amidst Outcry for Derogatory Remark on Burqa-Clad Women

Corporators of Gulbarga Municipal Corporation of Karnataka protested against BJP corporator Krishna Nayak, for a derogatory remark against Burqa-clad women during the general body meeting, on Friday. 

The meeting that was going on for the past two days was discussing the matter of Pourakarmikas alias PKS (laborers) on Friday, who have been protesting for months demanding regularization of their services. The matter was concluded to be further passed on to a higher committee for a final call, until BJP’s floor leader said that, they had seen Dalits and Banjara community women sweeping the garbage.

“Lekin Ghaghra choli pehenke mere community k log PKS ka kaam nahi karthe hai. Aur hamne yeh bhi nahi dekha ki burqah pehenke yeh log PKS ke kaam karthe hai (Ghaghra choli clad women of our community do not do such work nor did we see the Burqa-clad women of their community sweeping the garbage or cleaning the drainage),” said the BJP leader.  

Miffed by the remark, a few of the corporators expressed outrage and protested shouting slogans like “Bahar nikaalo bahar nikaalo” (Throw him out! Throw him out!), and “Iske alfaz wapas lo” (Take back his words). They told the mayor, Vishal Dargi, that Nayak must apologize for his words.

In a viral video, Congress’s Ayaz Tabbu Khan can be seen raising his chair in anger. At the same time, the Leader of the Opposition, Ajmal Kola, joined him in protest demanding an apology while sitting on the table in front of the Mayor. 

Talking to The Observer Post, Kola said that the discussion on the matter was over and the subject was dissolved, but he (Nayak) sitting in a row beside him, all of a sudden told that statement.

Khan said, “He said that burkha-clad women do not sweep or clean scavenges, in a very humiliating tone. When it wasn’t even the topic of discussion.”

“Other corporators of the BJP too said that he (Nayak) shouldn’t have told that”, Khan said, adding that nobody defended him, but instead agreed that it was indeed a derogatory remark, for which he must apologize.

According to Kola, amidst the tense atmosphere of chaos, the mayor heard and considered their demands.

“Although the mayor was from the same party, he agreed that what Nayak told was wrong and directed him to apologize,” he said. 

When mayor Dargi resumed the meeting after a little while, a senior ex-mayor Syed Ahmed, who was supposed to initiate the next subject for discussion, refused to do so saying he wouldn’t start until Nayak apologized. Accordingly, Krishna Nayak apologized as instructed by the mayor, in front of everyone in the house saying, “That was not my intention”.

Kola said, “Why do you have to talk about a particular community? You need to explain something, explain in a better way. The discussion was not about the minorities, Dalits, or the OBCs. It was all about laborers working in the City Corporation and their recruitment. Whenever there is direct recruitment from the government, obviously reservation and quota comes with it. There is no doubt about it. But the way it was told was very derogatory, although now it might not sound as such.”

“When it was told in the house, the environment and tone it was told in, was wrong,” he added.

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