Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui. PTI file

While the country celebrated the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during the Special Parliamentary Session earlier this month, a senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui stoked a controversy Saturday saying women with lipsticks and bob-cut hairstyles would come forward in the name of reservation.

“Those with lipsticks and bob cut hairstyles would come forward in the name of women’s reservation. The government should instead provide reservations for women belonging to backward communities,” Siddique said during an address in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur.

The leader also asked his supporters to avoid watching television and stay away from social media until the 2024 Lok Sabha elections conclude.

“You should stop watching the TV and spending time on social media without using your brains,” he said.

Siddiqui’s defence

The senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader later said that he did not intend to hurt anyone’s sentiments by making the statement.

He said, “In that rally, hundreds of rural women were there… I used that language to explain to the rural woman in their language.”

He added, “My intention was not to hurt anyone… If someone is hurt, I express regret… It was a gathering of extremely backward classes and I was teaching them… RJD had been in support of Women’s Reservation since the beginning…”

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