Venugopal Pillai & Rajesh Jauhri, TNN | Apr 16, 2013, 02.37 AM IST

INDORE: Tribal welfare minister Vijay Shah is at it again. Bigmouth Shah has landed himself into a controversy over remarks involving Sadhna Singh wife of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the inaugural ceremony of a summer camp in Jhabua on Sunday afternoon. Shah had raised a stir and invoked sharp criticism over his remarks post Nirbhaya gang rape case that the parents of the girls staying in tribal hostels should be responsible for their safety.

The minister referring to distribution of warm clothes to girls in hostels went a bit too far dragging Sadhna Singh (Bhabhiji) stating that it was she who forced Shivraj to approve the programme to provide warm clothes for girls residing in state government hostels. He said, “Maine bhabhiji se kaha, chalo ghumakar lata hun, kabhi- kabhi dewar ke sath bhi chala kijiye. Bhabhi ne chatron ko thand me thithurte dekha to boli ki garam kapde kyun nahi diye. Fir unhone bhaisahab ko kaha ki ladkiyon ko kapde dilao nahi to tum bhi thithur jaoge” (I asked Bhabhiji (CM’s wife) to come with me as she always used to tour with bhaiya (CM). We went to a girls’ hostel where girls were reeling under extreme cold, on which bhabhi inquired why the girls were not provided with warm clothes. She was annoyed and asked bhaiya to provide warm clothes to girls warning that otherwise he too will have to shiver out in cold).

Repling to Jhabua district collector Jaishree Kiyawat’s request for providing track suits to the girls, Vijay Shah said in chaste Hindi: T shirt- track suit ka chakkar chodo, do-do t-shirt denge mast wali. Aur niche ka bhi denge, kya kehta hain use– lower. Lower to niche wala hi hota hai na? (“Leave aside track suit… ‘

Shah referring to his maiden visit to Jhabua in 2004 said- “Pehla woh bhulaye nahi bhoolta. Batao, pehla mamla koi bhoolta hai kya? Cheez hi aisi hai, sabhi samajhte hain na? (first ‘of anything’ is never forgotten. Can anybody forget the ‘first’ time? It is like that, all must have understood). However, majority of the officials, teachers and others refused to speak on this issue when one of the camp participant, Jyoti Rajput told TOI over phone that she, along with herfriends were shocked to hear such words from a minister of the state cabinet. She further stated that she was very junior but there were many seniors present in the inaugural ceremony of the camp but nobody was able to raise his voice.

When TOI contacted Vijay Shah over phone, he said, “Chief minister’s wife Sadhana Singh is a motherly figure for him. Once she was with him on a trip to a girls’ hostel in Khandwa, she had objected on seeing girls without warm clothes, even in winters. On this, I had apprised her that there was no sanction for warm clothes from the government and later Bhabhiji took up the matter with the chief minister that resulted in quick sanction of funds for the same”