New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vinay Katiyar on Wednesday triggered a controversy by saying they were "more beautiful women star campaigners than Priyanka Gandhi."
Priyanka is one of the star campaigners of Congress for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and has also played an important role in forging an alliance between Congress and SP.
To a question, the BJP's firebrand leader said, "It doesn't matter...there are girls and women who are more beautiful than her (Priyanka) and are also star campaigners.
"Some of them are artists and heroines...they are more beautiful than her," he said.
Later talking to reporters, Katiyar tried to downplay his remarks saying it was an internal matter of Congress as to whom they want to appoint as their campaigner.
But, he added that if Congress is under the impression that they have the beautiful face of Priyanka for campaigning then to counter they also have many beautiful faces which BJP may ask to campaign for party.
However, he said, "It is wrong and unfair to compare beauty with capability but Congress is doing this."
Speaking to NDTV later, Katiyar said, "I was responding to reporters. I said Priyanka is beautiful but others are beautiful too.”
He added that he had ‘huge respect’ for Priyanka and that ‘she can say what she likes’.
Katiyar's own name is missing from BJP's campaigners' list for the state assembly elections, despite the fact that he hails from Uttar Pradesh.
Reacting to Katiyar's remarks, the Congress leader said it shows BJP's attitude towards half the population in India.
Priyanka Gandhi was included in a list of 40 star campaigners that the Congress released on Tuesday. The 45-year-old has in earlier elections campaigned in the family constituencies of Raebareli and Amethi, and her party on Tuesday said she may confine herself to these constituencies even this time around.
However, she has still been included as a speaker in the first set of constituencies that will vote on February 4, which do not include Amethi and Raebareli.
Katiyar’s comments came even as JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav remarked on Tuesday that ‘the honour of a vote is more important than the honour of a daughter’.
In comments that raised the hackles of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Yadav said, "If a daughter loses honour, the village loses its honour. But if a vote is sold, the nation will lose its honour,” in an apparent exhortation to people to practice clean politics.
Ironically, Vinay Katiyar had condemned Yadav’s comments....