Cong MP Sanjay Nirupam's remarks against Smriti Irani triggers controversy

Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam was on Friday at the centre of a controversy over his unsavoury remark against BJP MP Smriti Irani.

The Congress MP landed in trouble after questioning the credentials of Irani to analyse poll results given her background as a TV actress. "Till some time ago you were dancing on the TV screens and now you have become a psephologist," Nirupam reportedly said during a TV debate. 

The remark against the TV actor-turned politician made during the course of a discussion on the small screen when results of Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh were pouring in on Thursday also triggered protests by BJP workers in Mumbai and a demand for an apology from Nirupam. 

The remark also led to the opposition party deciding to boycott TV debates involving him and voicing its disapproval.

Sanjay Nirupam lands in trouble
Sanjay Nirupam has triggered controversy by questioning the credentials of BJP's Smriti Irani to analyse poll results given her background as a TV actress. File Pic

"This is very regrettable. To say such a thing is unfortunate. It is this mindset, which we have to fight," Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said, voicing the ruling party's dispproval.

Angered by Nirupam's "indecent and derogatory" comments against its women's wing chief, BJP slammed the Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai and announced that party spokespersons and leaders will not attend news channel debates in which he is a participant, saying he has crossed all limits of decency.

"The kind of language and choice of words by Nirupam in a news channel debate against Smriti Irani, who is our Mahila Morcha chief and MP as well as an established TV actor, is most unfortunate and painful. He crossed all limits of decency and decorum," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

"He has made anti-women comments and BJP strongly condemns it. Nirupam is a Congress MP and his party is headed by a woman, yet he has made such derogatory remarks. We expect Congress President Sonia Gandhi to take action against him and apologise herself," Prasad said.

The BJP leader warned that in case Gandhi does not do so, party workers may hold protests against her. "No BJP spokesperson will go for a debate on any news channel where Nirupam is participating," Prasad said.

Irani is also reported to be in the process of sending a legal notice to Nirupam for this "gross defamation" and the party is exploring the legal steps that can be taken against him.

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