New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Election Commission of India on Wednesday issued notice to former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath over his 'item' remark and asked him to clear his stand within 48 hours. The Congress leader is in the eye of a storm for his item remark directed at BJP leader Imarti Devi during a poll rally on Sunday in Gwalior's Dabra town.

Supporting the Congress candidate for the assembly segment, Kamalnath had said Suresh Raje was a “simple person” unlike his opponent who was an “item”.

“Suresh Raje ji hamare ummeedvar hai...yeh uske jaise nah hai...kya hai uska naam ... main kya uska naam lun? ...apko toh mujhe pehle savdhan karna chahiye tha ... yeh kya item hai... (Our candidate is not like her... what’s her name? You know her better and should have warned me earlier... What an item!), Kamal Nath said in Hindi while the crowd called out Imarti Devi’s name.

On Tuesday, the former CM faced criticism from his own party colleague Rahul Gandhi who termed his remark unfortunate. "Kamal Nath ji is from my party but personally, I don't like the type of language that he used...I don't appreciate it, regardless of who he is. It is unfortunate,  Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said.

However, Kamal Nath refused to tender an apology saying he has already clarified the context in which he had made those comments.

Responding to questions over Rahul Gandhi's criticism, Kamal Nath said, "It is Rahul Gandhi's opinion. I have already clarified the context in which I made that statement... Why should I apologise when I did not intend to insult anyone? If anyone felt insulted, I have already expressed regret."

The controversy seems far from being over in the state where bypolls are scheduled for 28 MP Assembly seats on November 3.

State BJP leaders along with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Monday staged a protest against Kamal Nath, while the National Commission for Women sought an explanation from the Congress leader for his remark.

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha