NEW DELHI: A minister in Maharashtra‘s BJP government believes that the sale of various liquors will increase if they are given women’s names like ‘Bobby’ and ‘Julie’, prompting the Shiv Sena and the Congress to wonder if the BJP is pro-alcohol.
Here’s what the minister Girish Mahajan said on Sunday at an event organised by a sugar factory, which also produces liquor under the brand name ‘Maharaja’:
“These days most of the products are sold in the name of women. Tobacco products are sold only because they are named after women. If you feel that liquor products should be sold on top priority, instead of ‘Maharaja’, they should be named as ‘Maharani’,” said Mahajan.
If you want alcohol or any other thing’s demand to rise,name it after a woman & see how the demand soars says Mahar… https://t.co/qm23PwMci8
— ANI (@ANI)
A Congress member in the state wonder if the BJP supports its minister’s comment.
Does BJP support tainted minister Girish Mahajan’s sexist remark to name liquor brands after women to up sales?also is BJP =pro alcohol?
— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind)
The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, also wondered if the BJP is pro alcohol, and condemned Mahajan’s remark.
“In a lot of places in Maharashtra, women are protesting against the sale of liquor. Even after being aware of it, Maharashtra Minister Mahajan’s remark is very unfortunate,” said the Sena in its mouthpiece Saamana, according to ANI.
“Bihar Government last year completely banned the sale of liquor. Despite of disputes between Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the latter supported the initiative. But in Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s own minister is giving suggestions on how to increase the sale of alcohol,” the article read.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) wondered whether Mahajan was under the influence when he made the comment about liquor names.
“The way the minister had made the remark makes me believe that he had consumed four bottles of maharaja (liquor) in the night,” said NCP leader Nawab Malik to ANI.
Malik said he thinks Mahajan might be a “habitual drinker”.
“I think the minister is a habitual drinker and we appeal all the women in Maharashtra to come out and fight this kind of a mindset,” Malik said.