Telangana minister makes sexist comment at female officer; denies it later

Hyderabad: State Panchayat Raj Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao on Friday landed in a soup after he made a lewd, sexist comment at a female mandal parishad development officer (MPDO) at an official event.

At the Palle Pragathi grama sabha in Uppal village in Warangal district on Friday, Rao asked the locals where their MPDO was and how well she was working in the mandal. Later, he commented in Telugu that she is “shaking it well, but not shaking up at work.”

Much to the dismay, several men present at the event burst out into laughter after the minister had made the comment. Collector Rajeev Gandhi Hanumanthu, Parkal MLA Challa Dharma Reddy were among those who were present.

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The MPDO looked visibly uncomfortable in the video that is now being widely shared. She later confined herself to a corner throughout the meeting, reports said.

Rao’s comment drew ire not only from the public but also from the opposition who demanded his removal from the ministerial post.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) national spokesperson Sravan Dasoju demanded that Rao should be booked under section 354 A (sexual harassment) and  509 (Word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code for his demeaning remarks against the woman officer.

“If Errabelli Dayakar Rao is making such crass remarks against a Group-I officer, how will he speak to other women without power?” Sravan lashed out at Rao in a video statement.

Meanwhile, soon after the video went viral, Errabelli Dayakar Rao responded to the video via a statement released to the media. He condemned the video and stated that his political rivals were spreading a fake video.

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Sruthi Vibhavari

Sruthi Vibhavari is a budding journalist from Hyderabad. A graduate in Economics and Political Science, she is a keen follower of contemporary socio-political and economic developments in the country and also the world. While she occasionally writes poems in English, she is also an Urdu literature enthusiast – right from Mirza Ghalib to Gulzar.
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