An independent MLA in Maharashtra put his foot in his mouth while trying to refute perceived links between alcoholism and farmers’ suicide.
Actress Hema Malini “drinks heavily” but she hasn’t committed suicide yet, blurted out Omprakash Babarao alias `Bacchu’ Kadu, an independent MLA from Achalapur in Amravati district, yesterday.
Kadu made the remark while speaking about farmers’ plight at an event in Nanded district of Marathwada.
Congress leader Narayan Rane had recently termed drinking as one of the reasons for farmers’ suicide, while Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said excessive spending by farmers on son’s or daughter’s marriage leads to indebtedness in some cases.
Trying to rebut this perception, Kadu said, “75 per cent of MLAs, MPs, journalists drink… even Hema Malini drinks heavily… but have they committed suicide?
“Rs four crore were spent on the marriage of Gadkari’s son, should we now wait for him to commit suicide?” he said.
As the comment drew sharp reactions, Kadu tried to defend himself today. He was talking about Hema Malini’s drinking “in films and not in her personal life,” he said, speaking to reporters at Osmanabad this afternoon.
Kadu is no stranger to controversies. Last year he was arrested for allegedly assaulting an official at the state secretariat here. The secretariat staff had gone on strike demanding action against him.
As per the government data, over 200 farmers have committed suicide in Marathwada region of Maharashtra in the first three months of 2017.