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‘BJP Leader in Karnataka Apologizes for ‘Extra Peg’ Comment Directed at State WCD Minister’

Belagavi (Karnataka), April 15 (IANS) Former Karnataka BJP MLA Sanjay Patil has claimed that his “take an extra peg” comment was not intended towards state Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Lakshmi Hebbalkar, whose son Mrinal Hebbalkar is Congress’ Lok Sabha poll candidate from Belagavi.

Speaking to the media late on Sunday, Patil said that he had never taken the Minister’s name while making the comment and challenged the Congress leaders to prove if he had done so. The Karnataka State Women’s Commission has registered a suo motu case against the BJP leader for his alleged remarks against the WCD Minister. A notice has also been issued, seeking Patil’s response on why the action should not be initiated against him for his comments.

The remarks made by the former MLA at a public meeting in Belagavi on Saturday stirred a controversy. Patil had said: “A large number of women are coming out in support of the BJP in Belagavi. This is why I would want my elder sister to have a sleeping pill or an extra peg to get a good night’s sleep. It will also be difficult for her to see Ramesh Jarkiholi campaigning in the Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency.”

The BJP leader on Sunday said: “Let them (Congress leaders) show if I had taken her (Lakshmi Hebbalkar’s) name in my statement. When I mentioned Akka bai (elder sister), why do you think it is her? Extra peg means energy drink.” “If I had done wrong, let them file a complaint with the Election Commission and police. If I am guilty, let them punish me. Is it tenable to stage a protest at night? I am a heart patient and underwent bypass surgery,” he added.

Patil further said that the Congress leaders must take his remarks sportively. “This is an election, you also speak and I also make comments, there is a way to oppose it. How is it correct to come to the doorstep to protest?”. The BJP leader also hit out at Congress for protests outside his residence. “My mother is 90-year-old and she is bedridden. Who will take responsibility if anything happens to her? In the run-up to the election, comments must be taken sportively. I will lodge a criminal case for staging a protest at my residence on Saturday night,” he said.

Meanwhile, WCD Minister Hebbalkar slammed Patil for his remarks. She said that the remarks show that the BJP leaders have no respect for women. “Patil has not insulted me, he has insulted all women. Former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy, who joined hands with the BJP, also insulted women,” she added.

IANS

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