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2021 Election season in India sees a slew of sexist comments by politicians

The elections in India have a tendency to be controversial and while politicians can say and do anything for a chance to gain support, the recent rallies saw some leading politicians make derogatory and sexist remarks.

The impending elections in 4 states have created an intense atmosphere where politicians have geared up their campaigns in an effort to gain crucial support to form a government in their respective states.

The upcoming elections are in 4 states which are — Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, and Kerala whose results are to be announced on 2nd May 2021.

All the national and regional parties are working hard to influence voters and discredit the opposition, this includes smear campaigns which quite a lot of politicians indulge in during election campaigns but some have taken it to the extreme by making sexist remarks which have caused public outrage.

Here are some of the sexist things politicians have said during the political season of 2021:

“Rahul will only go to Girls College,” says Former MP Joyce George

During an election campaign for Left Democratic Front (LDF) at Udumbanchola, Kerala for sitting MLA and minister M M Mani, Joyce mocked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who visited St Teresa’s college in Ernakulum, St Teresa’s is an all girl’s college.

During a speech, Joyce mockingly said “Rahul Gandhi will go to only all-girls colleges. Once he reaches there, he will teach them to bend and twist, further adding that “Rahul Gandhi is a bachelor, students should be careful while doing physical exercise in front of him”

The preposterous remarks sparked guffaws from fellow politicians including CPM candidate Mani who has been in hot water for making sexually explicit remarks in the past.

Rahul Gandhi on request of the students showed some basic principles of ‘Aikido’ which is a form of modern Japanese martial arts, during his visit to St Teresa’s.

The issue was heavily criticized by the opposition, Congress attacked George over the remarks and even CPM issued a statement condemning his remarks.

This moron Joyce George of @cpimspeak referring to @RahulGandhi ‘s St Teresa college says don’t kneel down or bent infront of Rahul,be careful he is not married!

Is this endorsed by @SitaramYechury or comrade @vijayanpinarayi ?

Stooping to such low?

It’s clear now CPM Vl lose pic.twitter.com/STEjBhqAY7

— Vijay Thottathil (@vijaythottathil) March 30, 2021

DMK leader A Raja’s remarks on Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi K Palaniswami and his mother

Raja’s remarks on Palaniswami and his mother caused outrage among citizens which he made during a speech.

DMK leader, during a speech at thousand lights constituency, said “Let’s compare DMK President Stalin and Edappadi K Palaniswami. In 23 years Stalin went to jail under MISA rule. Then he served as a district secretary in the party, general committee member, youth wing secretary, treasurer, then working president and then president of DMK. He became a leader step-by-step and has served as an MLA, then Chennai’s Mayor, state Minister, Deputy CM, and now he is going to become a CM,” he said, adding, “That’s why in the villages I say, if Stalin is a healthy baby born out of a ‘rightful’ marriage, Edappadi Palaniswami is a premature baby born out of an illicit affair in politics”.

AIADMK lodged a complaint with Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo for Raja’s remarks during the speech and in the complaint urged the Election Commission to ban Raja from participating in any poll campaigns hereafter.

During a campaign rally, the chief minister got emotional over the remarks made by the DMK leader calling Palaniswami illegitimate and insulting his mother.

The remarks caused an uproar on social media which made it even more difficult for the DMK to control the damage caused.

#2GSpectrumScam Prime Looter & DMK MP #ARaja fails to give valid explanation for his derogatory remarks on TN CM #EPS’ mother. Hence, Election Commission reprimands him for violating MCC & debarred him from campaigning for 48 hours. A Raja is a blot to Tamil Nadu & Tamils. pic.twitter.com/9uIlmAQD5W

— SG Suryah (@SuryahSG) April 1, 2021

A Raja in an attempt to control the damage said “My speech has been quoted out of context and misinterpreted in the social media. I just compared how Stalin and Palaniswami came up to the leadership roles. While Stalin came up gradually from grassroots level, Palaniswami reached the CM post by touching VK Sasikala’s feet. I have no intention to criticise the honourable CM as I hold a responsible position in the DMK”.

West Bengal BJP Chief Dilip Ghosh comments on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh was criticized for his remarks on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee saying “Mamata Banerjee should wear Bermuda shorts if she wished to display her legs”. He remained defiant saying it is inappropriate for saree clad women to show her legs.

“She (Mamata Banerjee) is our Chief Minister. We expect her to act appropriately, befitting Bengal’s culture. A woman showing her legs in a saree is inappropriate. People are objecting. I found it objectionable so I spoke,” Ghosh said amid a big debate over ‘insider versus outsider’ in the state.

On March 10th Mamata Banerjee got injured in the leg in Nandigram which she alleged was an attack, the Election Commission, however, dismissed it as an accident.

The chief minister sustained injuries and has been campaigning on a wheelchair ever since, with her leg in a cast.

The BJP, since the day of the incident, has been claiming the whole thing to be a “drama” by the Chief Minister to gain sympathy votes.

Dilip Ghosh made controversial remarks during a rally in Purulia saying “The plaster was cut and then a crepe bandage was put. And now she is displaying her leg to everyone. She is dressed in a saree but one of her legs is exposed. I have never seen anyone drape a saree like that. If you want to display your legs, why a saree, wear a pair of Bermudas so everyone can have a good look.”

"People don't want to see her face, that's why she's showing her broken leg… What kind of saree is she wearing, which covers one leg and shows the other? If you want to put out your leg, why saree, wear a bermuda, it can be seen": Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Mamata Banerjee pic.twitter.com/2zOvc1qkQq

— Soumyajit Majumder (@SoumyajitWrites) March 24, 2021

It remains to be seen how these remarks will affect all these politicians but one thing is certain that the citizens did not take these remarks lightly and have shown their outrage over the remarks in a country where women are still fighting for equality and their rights. The results of elections in 4 states will be announced on 2nd May 2021.

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