HD Kumaraswamy says women have ‘gone astray’ due to Congress guarantees, apologises

The Karnataka State Commission for Women initiated a suo motu case against the former chief minister on Sunday, April 14.
HD Kumaraswamy
HD Kumaraswamy
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Former Karnataka chief minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy apologised for his remarks about “women going astray” on Monday, April 15. After the statement became controversial, he said, “I apologise to all women … If my words have hurt any women, then I am ready to apologise.” He said that he did not intend to insult or hurt any woman with his comments but that the Congress portrayed it as if he had made a grave mistake.

The controversial remarks were made during a roadshow in Tumakuru on April 13. “What guarantees have they given and to whose pockets have the government dug into to fund the guarantees? Today, because the government announced the five guarantee schemes during the last elections, our mothers in villages have gone astray. They have to think about what happens to their lives. You should think about what happens to your family. They do not have anything else but guarantees,” he had said.

Accusing Kumaraswamy of disrespecting women, the Congress party in Karnataka organised a protest in Mandya, where Kumaraswamy is contesting as the NDA candidate in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Karnataka State Commission for Women (KSCW) initiated a suo motu case against the former chief minister on Sunday, April 14. 

Chairperson of the KSCW, Nagalakshmi Choudhary, stated that the commission viewed the incident seriously. “He has hurt the honour and character of women by stating that rural women have gone astray due to the guarantee schemes. The commission will issue a notice to Mr Kumaraswamy,” she said.

Responding to the allegations, Kumaraswamy accused the Congress of attempting to tarnish his reputation. He also clarified that his intention was to highlight the financial burdens faced by women. “I was referring to the Congress’ guarantees. I was trying to convey to all my mothers in the state that they shouldn’t take the wrong track by voting for the Congress because of the guarantees,” he said. Kumaraswamy also said he was trying to make women understand that while the government gives them Rs 2,000 a month, their husbands are being ‘pick-pocketed’ of Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000,” he said.

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