National Commission for Women (NCW) on Thursday issued a notice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his statement, "PM ran away and asked a 'mahila' (Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman) to defend him".
NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said that the statement was pathetic, sexist and misogynistic.
"We've asked explanation from Rahul Gandhi for why he said what he said yesterday in tweets. The statement was pathetic, sexist and misogynistic. That's why we've sent him a notice. He has to explain what does he mean when he is trying to talk low of women," news agency ANI quoted Sharma as saying.
Gandhi on Wednesday said the prime minister got “a woman” to defend him in Parliament as he couldn’t do so himself, a remark that appeared to trigger a sharp retort from Narendra Modi who accused the opposition of insulting Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Calling Modi, a prime minister who claimed to have a broad chest, Gandhi said, the prime minister had "run away" from the debate in Parliament on the defence deal.
With all due respect Modi Ji, in our culture respect for women begins at home.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 9, 2019
Stop shaking. Be a man and answer my question: Did the Air Force and Defence Ministry object when you bypassed the original Rafale deal?
Yes? Or No? #RafaleScam
“The watchman with a 56-inch chest ran away and told a woman, Sitharaman ji, defend me. I won’t be able to defend myself, defend me,” he said at a farmers’ rally in Jaipur.
“For two and a half hours, the woman could not defend him. I had asked a straight question – answer yes or no – but she couldn’t answer,” the Congress chief said, using the word ‘mahila’ for a woman in his speech in Hindi.
In his public meeting a few hours later in Agra, Modi accused Congress leaders of insulting the country's women.
He said Defence Minister Sitharaman had floored the Opposition in the Lok Sabha by coming up with "fact after fact" on the Rafale deal.
"They are bent upon insulting a woman defence minister," he said, without naming Gandhi.
"This is not an insult to a woman, but an insult to entire India's women power, for which these irresponsible leaders will have to pay the price," Modi added.
National Commission for Women (NCW) issues notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his statement "PM ran away & asked a 'mahila' (Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman) to defend him" pic.twitter.com/xTAyqNeXg1— ANI (@ANI) January 10, 2019