New Delhi: Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal is being dragged over coals, but this time for saying old wives are no fun. Pressure from an embarrassed Congress, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Commission for Women forced him to apologise later. But Jaiswal still feels he did nothing wrong.
Talking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Jaiswal said, "I never said anything like that. All I said was that as a marriage grows older, the charm of celebrating it keeps fading." When asked why is he still defending himself, Jaiswal said, "My statement's context should not be twisted. People who are agitating are politicising it. But still, if anybody is hurt, then I apologise."
In yet another foot in the mouth comment from Sriprakash Jaiswal, the coal minister's comment that 'like old victory, old wives give no cause for celebration', angered both the NCW and the Congress. Clarifying his comment, Jaiswal later said, "I was at an inauguration ceremony, when I heard India defeated Pakistan in cricket, people were celebrating, so I stopped the ceremony asking them to celebrate first. It's no fun celebrating an old victory, just like there is no fun celebrating an old marriage."
Already facing heat over coal blocks allocation, Jaiswal was under the opposition fire yet again. "We can judge the Congress on the basis of such comments. How low they can stoop," said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman.
It's not the first time that Jaiswal's words have landed him in trouble. During the Uttar Pradesh elections, his comment that Rahul Gandhi could become the Prime Minister any day had embarrassed both the party and the Prime Minister. He was forced to apologise then too. Jaiswal has apologised this time too, but his track record is getting as clouded as the ministry he heads.