Congress party leader Kamal Nath.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) requested former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday to elucidate his allegedly sexist description of state minister Imarti Devi as an “item “. The Commission gave Nath 48 hours to explain the remark, failing which action will be taken against him.

Nath’s remarks was found to be in violation of the model code of conduct in place in the state because of assembly by-elections due on November 3, the ECI said.

“Now, therefore, the Commission gives you an opportunity to explain your stand in making the above said statement within 48 hours of receipt of this notice, failing which the Election Commission of India shall take a decision without further reference to you,” a discover issued by the ECI stated.

The transfer got here within the wake of the National Commission for Women (NCW) asking the election watchdog to look into the matter and take motion. The NCW additionally sought an evidence from Nath over the alleged derogatory comment.

Also Read | ‘His opinion’: Kamal Nath responds to Rahul Gandhi disapproving ‘item’ remark

“The NCW has come across several media reports where Shri Kamal Nath, Leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, made offensive and derogatory remarks against a woman minister in a political rally in Dabra,” the Commission stated in an announcement. “The Commission strongly condemns this irresponsible and disparaging statement made by the leader. The words used in the video are highly defamatory and shows disrespect towards the dignity of a woman.”

Addressing a marketing campaign rally on Sunday in Gwalior’s Dabra city, the place the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Imarti Devi within the by-election, Kamal Nath stated the Congress candidate was a “simple person” in contrast to his opponent who was an “item”.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi stated on Tuesday he disapproved of Nath’s controversial comment.

“Kamal Nath ji is from my party. But one can’t treat women with disrespect. I don’t approve the language used by the senior leader. It is unfortunate,” he stated.

“Our women are our pride. They should be protected and I don’t appreciate this type of language…,” he added.

Nath refused to apologise. “It is Rahul ji’s opinion” was his response when reporters requested about Gandhi’s feedback on the escalating row.

“Why should I apologise when I did not intend to insult anyone? If anyone felt insulted, I have already expressed regret,” Nath stated.

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