‘Will put you on Chandrayaan’: Khattar’s reply to woman draws flak


Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar addresses a press conference in Chandigarh

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar addresses a press conference in Chandigarh
| Photo Credit: ANI

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Thursday courted controversy during his public outreach programme, Jan Samvad, for telling a woman, seeking a factory in her village for better job opportunities, that she would be sent to “moon in Chandrayaan-4” in the next phase of lunar mission.

Mr. Lal, interacting with the locals during the programme at Hisar, was talking about the success of the Self Help Groups in the State, when a woman among the audience demanded that a factory be set up in her village to create better job opportunities. As the woman insisted, Mr. Lal cut in to say that next time when Chandrayaan-4 will go to moon they would send her as well.

The Opposition was quick to attack the Chief Minister for making a woman a “laughing stock” in a public meeting and terming his remarks a “disrespect to Indian culture”. Congress general-secretary Kumari Selja, in a post on X, formerly Twitter, said the Chief Minister’s comments proved that his government was making the State unemployed in a planned manner. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda said cracking cruel jokes on the demands and feelings of the masses, especially the women, in public programmes was now a routine for the Chief Minister. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Anurag Dhanda said it was Haryana’s misfortune that the State was being ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Chief Minister’s media advisor Mukesh Vashisth blamed the Congress for posting a portion of the video and not listening to the entire conversation where Mr. Lal was talking about the financial empowerment of five lakh women in the State through 55,000 Self Help Groups. He said the Chief Minister had made the Chandrayaan-4 remark in a lighter vein.

In a similar programme in Sirsa in May, Mr. Lal had told the security personnel to “beat up” and “send out” a worker of the AAP. In another Jan Samvad programme in Bhiwani in April, Mr. Lal had, in a viral video, made controversial remarks against a judge in a case pertaining to Haryana Police Constable recruitment. He later expressed regrets over his remarks and withdrew them.

The Jan Samvad programme was launched by Chief Minister on April 2 to interact directly with the masses and seek their feedback on various government schemes.


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