New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's attempt to attack the Centre over demonetisation using the surname of new Miss World Manushi Chhillar has invited strong criticism from two senior ministers in the Haryana government.
Haryana Women and Child Development Minister Kavita Jain said Tharoor "indulged in callous and reckless wordplay on new Miss World Manushi Chhillar".
She asked him to apologise and said the Haryana-born Chhillar was not just the pride of the state, but also of the entire nation.
"Tharoor has only exposed his own debased thinking by questioning the self-respect of our daughters, the pride of the country, and the brave community 'Chhillar'," Jain said in a statement.
"It is tragic that leaders of the Congress party which is headed by a woman do not respect women. Such low thinking is responsible for the Congress losing its base in the country," she added.
Haryana Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu also criticized Tharoor. "A shameless comment deserves to be withdrawn and Shashi must apologise for this...can't believe...he can go so low...(sic)" Abhimanyu tweeted.
A shameless comment.deserves to be withdrawn and Shashi must apologise for this ..can't believe ..he can go so low.. https://t.co/TqYkSZiTHj— Captain Abhimanyu (@CaptAbhimanyu) November 19, 2017
Backfired by Tharoor's tweet the National Commission for Women (NCW) Chief Rekha Sharma on Monday said, "I was thinking to summon him but he apologised but his apologies aren't genuine. It seems he's telling people to chill after apologising. I would suggest him he must apologise properly to the nation.”
Tharoor apologised for his remark, which, he said was a "light-hearted" comment and also praised Chhillar.
However, it was not clear if he apologised after the NCW on Sunday decided to summon Tharoor over his "derogatory" remark.
“He hasn't hit below the belt only the girl but also the nation because she got fame & name to the nation. Summon doesn't mean we want to go to police or book him, we just want him to realise what he said was wrong,” the NCW chief said.
Apparently punning on the word 'chillar', which in Hindi means "loose change", Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday tweeted, "What a mistake to demonetise our currency! BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World!"
What a mistake to demonetise our currency! BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World!— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 19, 2017
Accusing Tharoor of degrading the achievement of Chhillar, a medical student who hails from Haryana, the NCW asked whether the Congress leader will call his own daughter "chillar".
"...he must apologise immediately," NCW tweeted on Sunday.
NCW condemn the tweet of @INCIndia leader @ShashiTharoor. He degraded the achievement of daughter of #haryana and #India who got glory to the country. Will he call his own daughter chillar? He must apologize immediately. https://t.co/WD6q49vUo8— NCW (@NCWIndia) November 19, 2017
Tharoor apologised, stressing that no offence was meant to the "bright young girl".
"Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humour, & the bilingual pun lower still! Apologies to the many who seem to have been righteously offended by a light-hearted tweet today. Certainly no offence was meant to a bright young girl whose answer I've separately praised. Please: Chill!," he tweeted.
Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humour, & the bilingual pun lower still! Apologies to the many who seem to have been righteously offended by a light-hearted tweet today. Certainly no offence was meant to a bright young girl whose answer i've separately praised. Please: Chill!— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 19, 2017
With inputs from agencies....