minister Amin Khan, who remarked that Pratibha Patil was made
president for having cooked in late former prime minister Indira
Gandhi's kitchen, has been asked to resign.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot late Wednesday summoned the panchayati
raj minister, who was at the temple town of Nathdwara near Udaipur,
and asked him to submit his resignation.
"The minister's statement was utterly irresponsible and
unfortunate. As soon as I came to know about it, I spoke to the
president...," Gehlot told reporters.
"I also sought an explanation from the minister. No one has a
right to talk like this," he added.
The chief minister had earlier in the day flown to Delhi and
presented details to the Congress high command. It was decided
that the minister's resignation be sought.
Defending himself, Khan had said earlier that even though Patil
cooked for Indira Gandhi when she was not the prime minister, he
did not mean to insult her.
He insisted that he had been misquoted.
"I was misquoted. What I meant was that Patil was an ordinary
worker of the party. And because she was a loyal and disciplined
worker, she got an opportunity to become the president," the
"When they (Indira Gandhi and Patil) used to live together, they
used to cook food and prepare tea. I did not mean any disrespect
to her (Patil)," he said.
"I was asking party workers to be patient and serve the party
without making any demands. Patil is an example for everyone to
follow," Khan said.
On Tuesday, the minister told a meeting of the Pali district
Congress committee that Patil was rewarded with the presidency for
having cooked as well as preparing tea in Indira Gandhi's kitchen
after she lost power in the 1977 election.
"Finally, she was rewarded with the country's top position by
(Congress president) Sonia Gandhi though Patil did not seek any
position. She was rewarded for her loyalty to the former prime
minister," he was quoted as saying.
Leaders of both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
have come out strongly against Khan's statement.
"The minister should not have spoken like this...No one can
question Patil's credentials," Congress legislator Pratap Singh
BJP leader and former minister Rajendra Singh Rathore said: "Such
derogatory remarks are not proper. Gehlot should remove him from