Telangana: Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) minister G Jagadish Reddy has landed himself in soup for his "women are at home" comment, when he was asked about women in the Cabinet. The minister was naturally called out for his blatant chauvinistic remark, but the party has defended him.

The remark from the minister came when he was asked why no women received a ministerial berth in the recent Cabinet expansion. Reddy responded saying, "They are backing the TRS and are at home."

In a conversation with MyNation, TRS spokesperson Abid Rasool Khan said that Reddy has been misquoted and that such a statement was never made. He also went on to say, "In further inductions, one woman will be given a ministry." Khan also stated that the TRS has profound respect for women and have brought in several schemes for the empowerment of women. "Our programmes for the marriages of women have been well received. We also brought in a programme to reduce power cuts to help women take care of the house and their husband," Khan added. Upon being asked if this was a favour that the TRS was doing for the women of the state, Khan, ironically, said that their party believes that women are equal.

Last term too when K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) was the chief minister from 2014-2018, there were no women in his Cabinet. Reacting to this, Khan said, "One deputy speaker post had been given to a woman. That was such an important post and it was given to a woman."

President of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC), Nerella Sarada spoke to MyNation expressing her angst about the statement. She said that she requests the people of Telangana not to vote for the TRS considering how they perceive women to be "incapable". Sarada questioned how one berth could suffice for an entire Cabinet. "If they give one post of a Deputy Speaker, how does it balance the Cabinet? They had given women and child development ministry to a man. How can they do something like that?" She also went on to say that the TRS has not spared a single instance to insult a woman. "If they give one berth for namesake, it is disrespectful," she concluded.

Rekha Sharma, president of the National Commission for Women (NCW) stated that a comment such as this coming from a minister shows his mindset. "Women's capabilities must be used in the helm of politics. They should be representatives, only then will they be able to reach out to the public," Sharma stated. She also suggested that people making such comments must be sensitised and she was more than happy to offer a hand.

MyNation also got in touch with advocate Sudha Ramalingam, who said that KCR and his party have forgotten the constitutional rights and are only partaking in 'tokenism'. "Just one berth is more like tokenism, when the Constitution has ensured equality for all. This only goes to show that chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao and his party have not understood the fundamental concept of equality, which then means that he is not adhering to the Constitution," she said.

This is the second term as chief minister for K Chandrashekar Rao in Telangana and another term where women are absent in his Cabinet. The TRS that was supposed to issue tickets to four women, reduced it to three in the 2018 Assembly elections. All three women MLAs won, but none of them has been inducted in the Cabinet. Reasons for their non-induction is unknown, but remarks such as these are endless in the Chandrashekar Rao-led TRS. What's worse, no action has been taken against the minister for the comment.