Congress president Rahul Gandhi was on Thursday issued a notice by the National Commission for Women (NCW) over his remark that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had got himself a woman to defend him in Parliament on the Rafale deal, in a reference to Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
On Wednesday, Gandhi had said, “Janata ki adalat se chappan inch ki chaatiwala bhaag gaya, aur ek mahila se kehta hai ‘Sitharamanji, aap meri raksha kijiye, mein apni raksha nahi kar paunga’… Aur aapne dekha dhai ghante mahila raksha nahi kar paayi. Seedha sa sawaal tha mera, haan ya naa dijiye, par woh raksha nahi kar paayi (The one with the 56-inch chest fled from the court of the people and asked a woman that ‘Sitharamanji, defend me, I am unable to defend myself’. You saw that for two-and-a-half hours, the woman could not defend him. I asked a simple question, which required a yes or no answer, but she could not defend him).”
The National Commission for Women (NCW) issues a notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi today. Terms his comments on PM Modi and Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman “misogynistic, offensive, unethical” & demands an official explanation. pic.twitter.com/fwiVvO0vJm
— Shalini Nair (@ShaliniNair13) January 10, 2019
Hours later, Modi responded, saying: “Jab hamari raksha mantri, ek mahila, ne Parliament me virodhi dal ke netaon ke chhakke chhuda diye, aur unke saare jhooth ko benakaab kar diya… Aur hamari raksha mantri ek ke baad ek satya ko Parliament ke sadan par rakh rahi thi… Aise baukhla gaye… tab woh ek naari ka apmaan karne par tule hue hain. Ek mahila raksha mantri ka apman karne par tule hue hain. Yeh raksha mantri ka nahi, yeh pure Hindustan ki naari shakti ka apmaan hai, aur jiski keemat yeh gair jimmedar netaon ko chukani hi padegi (When our defence minister, a woman, stumped the Opposition in Parliament, and exposed all their lies… the defence minister presented all the facts in Parliament… they got so angry that they are bent upon insulting a woman… They are bent upon insulting a woman defence minister. This is an insult to not just the defence minister, but the entire country’s women power, and these irresponsible leaders will have to pay the price for this).”
Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports, the NCW, in its notice to the Congress chief, said, “Whereas the remarks made are extremely misogynistic, offensive, unethical and shows extreme disrespect towards the dignity and honour of women in general.”
“Whereas the commission strongly condemns such irresponsible and disparaging views of persons holding responsible positions. Considering the gravity of the matter, you are hereby required to provide a satisfactory explanation to the Commission on the matter on the receipt of this notice,” it added.
Speaking to news agency ANI, NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said, “We have sought an explanation from Rahul Gandhi in this regard. The statement was pathetic, sexist and misogynistic. That is why we have sent him a notice. He has to explain what does he mean when he is trying to talk low of women.”