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  India   Politics  27 Mar 2024  Congress faces trouble for SM remarks taunting Kangana

Congress faces trouble for SM remarks taunting Kangana

THE ASIAN AGE. | YOJNA GUSAI
Published : Mar 27, 2024, 1:21 am IST
Updated : Mar 27, 2024, 1:21 am IST

As the Congress' "Nari Shakti" campaign came under fire, Ms Shrinate claimed that her social media handles were misused

Kangana Ranaut (PTI)
 Kangana Ranaut (PTI)

New Delhi: An embarrassed Congress continued to face ire on Tuesday over the now deleted party spokesperson Supriya Shrinate's social media remarks against actor and BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi Kangana Ranaut. As the Congress' "Nari Shakti" campaign came under fire, Ms Shrinate claimed that her social media handles were misused.

With the Lok Sabha polls just around the corner, the controversy is far from dying down. The BJP has planned a "massive protest rally" on Wednesday in Mandi against the Congress leader's remarks.

In an effort to douse the raging controversy, the Congress on Tuesday said it has "always believed there is no place for such language in public discourse" and the matter should end with Ms Shrinate clearing the air.

The ruling Congress is already in turmoil in the hill state after receiving a massive jolt during the recent Rajya Sabha polls. In an ominous sign for the party, many senior Himachal Pradesh Congress leaders have refused to contest the coming Lok Sabha polls.

Sensing more trouble over Ms Shrinate remarks against Ms Ranaut, Himachal Pradesh chief minister and Congress leader Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu hailed the actor as the “daughter of Himachal”.

Noting that Ms Shrinate has already clarified that someone who has access to her account made the post and that she has said she will find out who has done it," Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said, "There is no place for such language in public discourse. The Congress has always been clear on that. Supriya Ji has said that whoever has done it, it's a mistake. She has explained and the matter should end there.”

The remarks were posted after the BJP named Ms Ranaut as its Lok Sabha candidate on late Sunday evening. It was reposted and reacted to by several Congress supporters on social media platforms. As the controversy erupted, Ms Shrinate on Monday denied that she had written the controversial post. She claimed that many people have access to her Facebook and Instagram accounts and one of them posted the inappropriate comment.

Ms Shrinate also said she had deleted the post and will take action against a parody account that is using her name. The now-deleted post was, however, reposted by many.

After the Congress leaders' comments on the social media snowballed into a controversy, Ms Ranaut, who will be making her political debut as the BJP’s Mandi candidate, said, “Every woman, irrespective of her background and profession, deserves dignity.” She met BJP president J.P. Nadda later in the evening.

Taking cognisance of the issue, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has written to the Election Commission, demanding strict action against Ms Shrinate and another Congress leader H.S. Ahir.

"NCW is appalled by the disgraceful conduct of Ms Shrinate and Mr Ahir, who made lewd and derogatory remarks about @KanganaTeam on social media. Such behaviour is intolerable and goes against the dignity of women..." the NCW said in a post on Monday.

Joining the BJP’s rank to attack the Congress and its leadership over the derogatory remarks, the daughter of former President Pranab Mukherjee, Sharmishtha Mukherjee, questioned the “mentality of the Congress” and asked the top leadership of the party to apologise for the derogatory remarks.

"She's saying ‘access', not hacked! One gives access to SM accounts only to known & trusted people. Nothing left of Congress ideology with the Rahul-Congress gang. ‘Nari Nyay' is nothing but an empty slogan by a bunch of hypocrites!" posted Ms Mukherjee on social media.

Before leaving Chandigarh for Delhi for her meeting with Mr Nadda on Tuesday, Ms Ranaut, while speaking to the media, said, "Whatever be the profession of a woman, be it a teacher, actress, journalist, politician or sex worker, all of them deserve dignity. I'm pained, especially because of the deplorable comments made about Mandi... All of us who come from Mandi have been hurt by the comments.”

Several BJP leaders, including Bansuri Swaraj, Amit Malviya and former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur, spoke up on the issue.

Taking on Ms Shrinate, Mr Malviya said, "If your account is posting what a parody account posts, then it simply means that the admins of both accounts are the same. One has to be self-conceited, to the point of being deranged, to do so. Also, the administrators must have a low opinion of you to post such offensive stuff and get away.”

"Such derogatory words were used for someone who is India's daughter and a woman. This is very shocking and shows the mentality of the Congress. The top leadership of the Congress should apologise for this," Ms Swaraj told a news agency.

Mr Thakur said the remarks against Ms Ranaut will be legally examined and the BJP is moving towards registering a case. He said Ms Shrinate had made a “big mistake” as people of faith come to Mandi, which is known as “Chhoti Kashi” and is an abode for over 300 temples.

"It is unfortunate that, being a woman herself, the Congress spokesperson has made such remarks against another woman and now she is trying to retract by saying that someone has used her other account,” Mr Thakur said.

Former diplomat Lakshmi Puri termed the remarks against the actor "despicable, derogatory and condemnable".

"That it should come from another woman politician is all the more galling -- how can we as women become transmitters of toxic patriarchy & demeaning slurs & insults that scrape at the bottom of the barrel of indignity!" she posted on X.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera took up cudgels on his colleague's behalf. “Anybody who has known my colleague @SupriyaShrinate will vouch for the fact that she can never resort to such objectionable language ever.”

Congress' Srinivas B.V. agreed that the remarks against Ms Ranaut from Ms Shrinate's account were "absolutely derogatory". However, he also raked up Ms Ranaut's past controversial statement, in which she had called actor-politician Urmila Matondkar a "soft porn star".

Earlier, Ms Ranaut took the opportunity to hit out at Ms Shrinate and remind her of the many roles she had played.

"Dear Supriya ji, in the last 20 years of my career as an artist, I have played all kinds of women. From a naive girl in 'Queen' to a seductive spy in 'Dhaakad', from a goddess in 'Manikarnika' to a demon in 'Chandramukhi', from a prostitute in 'Rajjo' to a revolutionary leader in 'Thalaivii'," Ms Ranaut said in a post on X on Monday.

"We must free our daughters from the shackles of prejudices, we must rise above the curiosity about their body parts and above all we must refrain from using sex workers challenging lives or circumstances as some kind of abuse or slur… Every woman deserves her dignity…," she had posted on a social media platform.

Tags: supriya shrinate, kangana ranaut, nari shakti campaign
Location: India, Himachal Pradesh