Bengaluru, May 22 (IANS): Nayana Motamma, the newly-elected Dalit MLA of the Congress in Karnataka, has hit out at those trying to target her by circulating visuals from her private life on social media.
The MLA from Mudigere Assembly constituency (reserved for Scheduled Caste) in Chikkamagaluru district said that her political opponents circulated visuals in which she is seen wearing dresses different from the sarees she wore while campaigning out of frustration due to the defeat in the elections.
"Don't let the frustration of defeat haunt you further. Yes... politics, me, myself, my personal life is the answer for those idiots who don't know the difference," tweeted Nayana, who posted about a minute-long clip of her pictures from her personal life used by the opponents to target her.
In these pictures, she could be seen wearing clothes other than saree, and spending time with her husband and friends. Some of the visuals show her jogging or dancing or taking selfies or spending time in the swimming pool. There are also a couple of pictures with liquor bottles. These visuals were juxtaposed with clips from her campaigning where she was mostly seen wearing saree.
The 43-year-old, who is the youngest woman MLA in the new state Assembly, said she herself had posted some of these photographs on social media and her political rivals used them to run a slander campaign before the elections on May 10 and even after her victory on May 13.
After Nayana's team filed a complaint with the police, the video was taken down from the Facebook page of the local BJP unit.
Nayana, a former corporate lawyer and National Law School of India University (NLSIU) and University of Pennsylvania alumna, defended her action of posting the video. She said she had nothing to hide as her personal life is different from her public life. She feels that wearing certain clothes in her personal life or as a corporate lawyer will in no way affect her job as a legislator.
The daughter of senior Congress leader, Dalit activist and former minister Motamma, Nayana has received huge support from netizens for taking a bold stand against those trying to malign her.
"More power to you," tweeted many netizens, including both men and women.
Nayana also received the support from women leaders of not just the Congress, but other parties as well.
"More power to you @NayanaJhawar avre. Leaders have a personal life and it's refreshing that you are being you without any artifice," tweeted Lavanya Balla Jain, spokesperson of Karnataka Congress.
"Proud of you Nayana! Love your spunk and all the best in your new role," tweeted Priyanka Chaturvedi, Rajya Sabha member of Shiv Sena UBT.
Nayana entered the Assembly for the first time by winning the Mudigere seat with a narrow margin. She defeated her nearest rival Deepak Doddaiah of the BJP by a margin of 722 votes.