Feb 7, 2013, 03.59AM IST TNN[ Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui ]
Much to the embarrassment of Sultanpur district magistrate K Dhanalaxmi, Pandey spoke to a crowd at the Chandra Shekhar Azad Hall of Kamla Nehru Institute of Technology there and made such unwarranted references to her as “sundar hain … bahut hi madhur vaani hai … karyashamta bhi adhik hai” and the most outrageous of all “Inki kad kaathi bhi bahut achchi hai.”
He has hit the headlines earlier too after his deputy minister accused him of taking bribe for transfer and posting of officials in khadi and village industry department. A known party-hopper with three criminal cases pending against him, Pandey contested the last assembly elections from Bishwanathganj assembly constituency on a Samajwadi Party ticket defeating Bahujan Samaj Party’s Sindhuja Mishra Senani by a margin of 9,000 votes.
“It is because of individuals like Raja Ram Pandey that put politicians in a bad light. Making such remarks about a woman before a crowd of thousands, and using such language as he did, projects politicians badly. How can people respect anyone with such manners,” said sitting SP MLA from Lucknow Ravidas Mehrotra.
“We have won the elections after struggling on the streets for five long years during which we have worked for the cause of the people. But people (read the minister) with such a mentality can never understand what it takes to fight for the cause of others,” said Mehrotra, who till recently held the world record for being jailed the maximum number of times during political agitations. “Pandey’s behavior will send a wrong message among the people with regard to the party and the government,” he added.
UP Congress Committee spokesperson Maroof Khan described the minister’s act as shameful. “It only goes on to establish the level to which SP ministers and party workers can stoop. The minister’s conduct that too in public will leave any self-respecting individual embarrassed,” said Maroof.
Pandey, minister for khadi and gram udyog, was the chief guest of a government function organised at the Chandra Shekhar Azad Hall of Kamla Nehru Institute of Technology in Sultanpur to distribute the cheques ofunemployment allowance, when he digressed from the purpose and addressed the gathering, saying “Is maamle mein hum bahut bhagyashaali rahe hain …. pichhlibaar jab main yahan (Sultanpur) ka prabhari mantri tha … tab bhi yahan ki DM mahila thee, aur saubhagya se is bar bhi mahila hi hain” (I have been pretty lucky in terms of being appointed as the minister in-charge (of Sultanpur). During the previous regime, when I was the minister in-charge, I was lucky to have a woman DM and this time too, a lady is posted as a DM here).
So far so good, the minister went on to say, “Pichli baar yahan ki DM Kamini Chauhan Ratan thee … who bhi bahut sundar mahila thee … main sochta tha ki unse sundar mahila DM ho hi nahi sakti. Lekin is baar jab main prabhari mantri hoon … to DM (K Dhanlaxmi) unse bhi adhik sundar hain … bahut hi madhur vaani hai … karyashamta bhi adhik hai … (Last time Kamini Chauhan Ratan was the DM here … she was a very beautiful woman …. I used to think that there cannot be a more beautiful lady DM, but the present DM is even more beautiful, she has a sweet voice and is competent as well).
By this time, DM Sultanpur K Dhanlaxmi, who was sharing the stage with the minister, was visibly embarrassed. But the worst was yet to come as the minister went on to say, “kad kaathi bhi bahut achchi hai” (Her body structure is also good). Dhanlaxmi turned her face away, as the minister played to the gallery.