Day after, Modi faces fire from rivals
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Women malnutrition remark Modhwadia demands apology, activists slam the chief minister
Chief Minister Narendra Modi has come under severe criticism from his political rivals and activists for his comments attributing high rate of malnutrition among women in the state to their being "more beauty-conscious than health-conscious".
Gujarat Pradesh Mahila Congress president Sonal Patel said his comments reflected his "feudal mentality" and amounted to insulting women of the state.
She said that contrary to Modi's remarks in Wall Street Journal, malnutrition was found among poor and marginalised groups owing to their poor financial conditions and not due to vegetarianism.
State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia demanded an apology from the CM. He said 55.3 per cent of the women in the state were reported to be anaemic and there was a high incidence of infant mortality and death of women during delivery. Quoting figures, he said 44.6 per cent of boys were malnourished and 45 per cent of them were also underweight in the state.
The Congress leader said this was because of poverty, and not food habits as claimed by Modi.
Former deputy chief minister and Congress leader Narhari Amin said Modi's comments were offensive to the sensibilities of women and particularly Jains, who are all vegetarians.
Taking a dig at Modi, ANHAD''s Shabnam Hashmi said he appeared to be healthy from his outer appearance. "Does it mean Modi is non-veg"?
NGO Prashant director Father Cedric Prakash said Modi's comments were ridiculous.
"This only shows he is not in touch with the poor and lower-middle classes," he said. "Poor people don't have means to arrange quality food and milk for their children. So, where is there the question of not taking milk to avoid become fat," he said.
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