A district magistrate of Bihar's Aurangabad district Kanwal Tanuj said those men who cannot build a toilet for their wives, should sell them, NDTV reported.

Addressing a public gathering on a cleanliness drive in Jamhore village of the Aurangabad district, Tanuj snapped at a villager who said he was too poor to build a toilet. Tanuj said: "I will talk to you. If that is the case then go and sell your wife. If this is the mentality you have then go and sell your wife. So many people talk about advance payment, they get advance and then spend it on useless things," reported India Today.

He was on a drive to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Swacch Bharat" (Clean India) campaign when he made the comment. A video clip has been widely circulated that showed him asking an audience of villagers to sell their wives if they have no money to build toilets at home.

"Due to lack of toilets, women get raped and harassed. It only costs Rs. 12,000 for the construction of the toilet. Is 12,000 more than anyone's wife's dignity? Who can let her wife get raped in return of Rs 12000? If this is your mentality then go and sell your wife. Those who cannot build toilet should sell or auction his wife,''Tanuj had said on Saturday, reported Zee News.

The Samajwadi Party, on Monday, demanded strict action against him saying, “He is an IAS officer and they are trained to have control on their language. Their salary comes out of the tax paid by people. His remark is against his conduct rules. Action should be taken against him. I would want to urge the government and the Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar), to take strict action against him."

While his remarks drew sharp criticism from various sections, Tanuj told The New Indian Express that a small portion of his long speech was being cited by “vested interests with an ulterior motive”.

“We are organising camps in every panchayat to promote toilet construction. Most people claim they do not have the money and want advances. I explained to them why toilets are necessary, and I did not say anything objectionable as being claimed,” said Tanuj.

(Feature Image Source: Youtube)