SRINAGAR – Opposition PDP today lashed out at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for his remarks that women Panchayat members were being lured with make-up kits to vote in upcoming elections, saying the NC was trying to discourage women from being empowered.
“Omar Abdullah’s reference to women being bribed with make up kits and his attempt to cast aspersion on our sisters and mothers’ integrity shows that NC, through such statements, intends to discourage women of the state from being empowered and assigned the much-deserved political space,” PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar said.
Ahead of polls to four seats of Legislative Council from Panchayat quota scheduled for next month, Abdullah had said yesterday, “PDP leadership is luring Panchayat members through various tactics and money power. Women Panchayat members are reportedly being presented make-up kits to tempt them to vote for PDP candidates.”
The PDP spokesperson said that the chief minister’s remark was not only sexist but also gravely anti-woman.
“Cursing the opposition for all his failures was a stock response of the Chief Minister but making such demeaning remarks against the mothers and sisters was completely unacceptable,” Akhtar said in a statement.
The PDP spokesman said women had defied considerable social barriers in taking a plunge into electoral process and are occupying a seriously contested democratic space.
The chief minister through his insensitive remarks has created a hugely negative impression about them, he claimed.
He said Abdullah’s statement did not go well with his claim to have a degree from abroad or having any modern day schooling.
“No Western or Islamic education teaches such narrow- mindedness towards women. The chief minister needs to take a lesson or two on the place the woman occupy in Kashmiri society and the value and faith attached to mothers and sisters,” he said.
“The reason of the state being in the throes of dark era is because of feudal forces which relegated the woman’s role to space around hearth,” he said
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