Congress leader says BJP woman candidate ‘can only cook’, DKS condemns statement

Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa criticised the BJP’s Davangere candidate. Ironically, his own daughter-in-law faces off against the BJP in that seat
DK Shivakumar
DK ShivakumarFacebook
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A Congress MLA’s sexist remarks on women has kicked off a row, forcing Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress chief DK Shivakumar to issue a strongly worded statement. 

Senior Congress politician and Davangere South MLA Shamanur Shivashankarappa (92) had on Friday, March 29, made derogatory remarks against BJP’s candidate for the Davangere Lok Sabha seat Gayathri Siddheshwar. 

He said at a public meeting in Davangere that Gayathri was not fit to contest elections. “First let them understand the problems of Davangere. We (Congress) have done development work in the region. It’s one thing to know how to talk, but they know only to cook in the kitchen.”

Shivashankarappa’s remarks triggered a row, with the BJP Mahila Morcha staging a protest, while Gayathri Siddeshwar also slammed the Congress leader. Badminton ace Saina Nehwal, who joined the BJP in 2020, reacted: “When I won medals for Bharat on the playfield, what would the Congress party have preferred I should have done?”

A day after Shivashankarappa’s remarks, party president DK Shivakumar issued a statement, saying “I strongly condemn any statement that remotely reeks of sexism and misogyny, coming from anyone.”

He mentioned the Congress’ women-centric guarantees in the state such as Gruha Lakshmi, Shakti, Gruhajyoti Anna Bhagya, and the recently announced Akka Cafe and said they were “a testament to our ideology that we honour women as empowered embodiment of progress and prosperity”.

He also said that both he and his party “… strongly believe and support women as equal partners in the progress of the country, and no regressive statement can ever change that”.

Ironically, Shivashankarappa’s daughter-in-law Prabha Mallikarjun is in the fray against Gayathri Siddheshwar. The Congress has fielded six women in the current elections, although all of them are relatives of major party leaders. 

Read: Congress candidate list out in Karnataka, family members of senior leaders dominate list

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