CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday said it pained him when he saw his predecessor and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda riding a tractor during a protest and women legislators of the party pulling it with ropes.
At one point he seems to be holding back his tears and said he could not sleep all night due to the visuals.
“This treatment to women MLAs was worse than bonded labour,” he said in the state Assembly referring to a Congress protest against the rising fuel prices on Monday.
Hooda had rode a tractor pulled by party legislators on the way to the Assembly.
Commenting on it while winding up the discussion on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s Address, Khattar said, “Yesterday, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. In the Vidhan Sabha too, women MLAs presided over the House proceedings.”
The CM said when he reached his residence in the evening and watched TV, he was pained to see the women MLAs of the Congress pulling with ropes the tractor on which Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress MLA Raghubir Singh Kadian and others were sitting.
“If they had to protest, women members should have been sitting on the tractor and their male counterparts should have pulled it. I could not sleep all night. You should be ashamed of yourself,” said Khattar to Congress members sitting in the House.
On it, Hooda intervened and said it was women who were feeling the pinch of rising prices of cooking gas and other essentials.
However, Khattar said, “If you had to protest, you should have pulled the tractor.”
On this, Hooda said, “The government has turned a blind eye to the pain of women who are sitting with farmers protesting on borders against farm laws. Power connections were cut at the protest site, you cannot see their pain.”
During his address, Khattar spelled out several welfare schemes for women brought by his government.
“Haryana used to be infamous for its skewed sex ratio. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign from the state in January 2015. Today, the gender ratio, which used to be around 850 five years ago, is 922,” he said.
Respect of women is above all for us, the CM said.