New Delhi: Criticise me, but don’t touch my clothes—that’s what Home Minister Shivraj Patil has told his critics.
Patil was seen in three different sets of clothes on the night of September 13 when serial blasts in New Delhi killed 22 people. He was accused him of paying more attention to his clothes than the blasts.
"I live in a clean, neat manner. If I don't get angry with people; if I keep my cool when it is necessary to keep cool when such incidents happen, you find fault with me. And if they are doing it, do you expect me to reply to that kind of criticism against me," he said in an interview to a TV channel.
"I will leave it to the people to judge. You judge yourself. Is this the correct way of criticising a politician? You criticise his policies, you don't criticise his clothes,” he said.
The BJP responded by saying the issue wasn’t Patil’s clothes but his work. The BJP "is not concerned with the serial dressing of the Home Minister or his wardrobe but would certainly like to know who is answerable for the ongoing bedlam. He can wear anything anytime,” said BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudi.
CPI leader D Raja refused to comment on the controversy but faulted Patil’s ministry. "I am not getting into it (Patil’s clothes). The Home Ministry has continuously failed on the interior security front," said Raja.
Patil’s deputy Shakeel Ahmed, the Minister of State for Home, said the controversy was needless. "Every person has a right to be presentable. The minister should be judged by his policy initiatives, commitment to the common man and whether he is truthful to his party's beliefs," said Ahmed. An "unnecessary and useless" controversy has been raked up, he said.