After much controversy, Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadav on Wednesday finally expressed regret over his sexist retort to Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani.
The issue was raised by Leader of House Arun Jaitley, who asked Yadav to clarify on his remarks reported in the newspapers while these have been expunged from the records of Parliament’s proceedings.
“During the course of a discussion, a statement has been made, published by the media, as a part of the proceedings of this house attributed to our very senior colleague Sharad Yadavji. The comment tells a lady member, who is also the minister for HRD, that I know what kind of person you are,” Jaitley said.
“Even though the statement was not allowed to be recorded in the proceedings, it has gone all over media and it has created a very improper impression. If Sharadji can clarify his statement so that this impression does not persist,” he said.
Responding to this, Sharad Yadav expressed regret and said he comes from a culture that is matrilineal. “I regret this… I come from the background of a culture that is matrilineal… The Gond culture,” he said. The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader said he respected the women members.
“Our Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, I believe is the best minister and Smritiji… I respect so much. When a question was raised about her degree, I was the first person who said I am engineer of political science and have no degree. I was first to defend her. What has been published was not my aim… I respect her.” he said.
A controversy broke out when Yadav during a debate on the Insurance Bill last week commented on the complexion of South Indian women. The issue was raised later when Irani said the member must not comment on the physical features of women. Many other women members of parliament also found Yadav’s comments inappropriate.