Nanded (Maharashtra): Independent legislator in Maharashtra, Omprakash Babarao alias Bachhu Kadu, raked up a controversy here by alleging that actress and Bharatiya Janata Party star MP Hema Malini is a "bumper drinker".
Objecting to comments by some people linking alcoholism with farmland suicides in the states, Kadu said it is erroneous to relate the two.
In the past, he said Congress leader Narayan Rane commented that farmers commit suicide due to alcoholism, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had observed that farmers burdened by excessive cost of weddings ended their lives.
"It is wrong to say thisa All sorts of people make all kinds of allegations. Who does not drink? Seventy-five per cent of lawmakers drink, even journalists drink. Hema Malini is a bumper drinker, has she committed suicide," Kadu asked.
He was speaking after addressing a farmers' rally in Nanded this afternoon when he sought to "clarify" how alcoholism and farmland suicides were not connected.
Controversies are not alien to this six-time legislator from Achalpur in Amravati, who has shot into limelight for various causes and agitations, like climbing onto a water tank in 2006 in a "Sholay"-style act to draw the government's attention to farmers suicides in Vidarbha.
More recently, last year he had assaulted a health department official after which the government employees retaliated against him with a strike, forcing police to lodge a complaint in the matter, and even unilaterally rejecting a fat salary hike for legislators.