- Sharad Yadav had body-shamed Vasundhara Raje at a rally in Alwar
- BJP lodged a complant against the Bihar politician with the election body
- Sharad Yadav, however, insists that he had only made the remark in jest
Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav today said that he will apologise to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje for body-shaming her during an election rally in the state earlier this week. The Bihar politician decided to make amends after the BJP, which is projecting Ms Raje as its chief ministerial candidate in the state, lodged a complaint against him with the Election Commission.
The 73-year-old politician was campaigning in Alwar district on December 5 when he decided to pick on the BJP leader's physical attributes. "Let Vasundhara rest, she is tired and has gained a lot of weight. She used to be thin," he said, provoking protests across the political spectrum as well as the social media.
Ms Raje also expressed her displeasure over the remark and sought action against Mr Yadav. "I am shocked, I feel insulted. He has insulted women. I think to set an example, it is very important that the Election Commission takes cognizance," she told reporters on Friday. "Is this the sort of example he wants to set for youngsters? The Congress and its allies should be restrained in their language."
In today's statement, Mr Yadav claimed that he had never meant to hurt the Rajasthan Chief Minister's feelings. "I saw her statement. I have very old family relations with her. If my words hurt her, I express my regret. I will also write a letter to her," he said.
On Friday, he had tried to downplay his gaffe by terming it as humour. "I said it as a joke. I've old relations with her. It wasn't derogatory in any way. I had no intentions of hurting her. When I met her, I told her then also that you're gaining weight," he told news agency ANI.
This is not the first time the Bihar politician has backed himself into a corner with his controversial remarks. In 2015, he created an uproar in parliament by going off on a tangent about the "beauty of dusky South Indian women". Last year, he drew a strange comparison between the "honour of a vote and a daughter" -- notching a couple of headlines yet again.
Mr Yadav, who launched the Loktantrik Janata Dal after parting with Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal(United), has allied himself with the Congress for the Rajasthan assembly polls.
(With inputs from ANI)