External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday hit back at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandi over his statement over absence of women in the Sangh. “Rivals call BJP anti-women party but it gave four women CMs and four women governors. There are six women cabinet ministers,” Swaraj was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. The external affairs minister, who was in Ahmedabad, also took potshots at the Congress saying that no woman was part of the Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) before the BJP formed the government.
Swaraj said that along with her, Nirmala Sitharaman also holds a crucial portfolio and is part of the CCS which comprises the top four ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Finance and Home. “I was made EAM in May 2014 and now Nirmala Ji is the Defence Minister. Two out of four CCS members are women now,” Swaraj pointed out.
Responding to a question on Rahul Gandhi’s comments, Swaraj said, “Netaon ko aisi baat kehna shobha nahin deta, (it’s not suitable for political leaders to talk in such way)”. “If Rahul had asked why aren’t their women in RSS, I would have surely given a logical answer, but the indecent manner in which he asked does not merit a response.”
Earlier this week, Rahul Gandhi, on his visit to poll-bound Gujarat had questioned, “Have you seen a single woman at an RSS shakha wearing shorts? I have never seen any. Why aren’t women allowed in RSS? They (BJP) have so many women in the party, but I have not seen a single woman in the RSS. What mistake have they made?” Gandhi went on to add, “You know who the parent organisation of the BJP is? It is the RSS. It is their idea that as long as women remain silent, they are good. The moment a woman opens her mouth, they want to shut her up.”
The remarks had received strong criticism from the RSS and the BJP. The saffron party fielded its Union Minister Smriti Irani to respond to the comments, who accused Rahul of having “vikrut (perverse)” mentality.
Slamming Rahul for the comments, Irani, had said, “The women of Gujarat and the nation will not forgive the Congress leader with a perverse mentality for insulting women.” “His (Rahul’s) mentality is such. The RSS works for the development of the nation by keeping everyone together. Is this our culture… Should we support a person who insults women?” Irani was also joined in by CM Vijay Rupani’s wife Anjali who said, “Rahul probably didn’t know that women are active in the RSS since 1936 — well before India won freedom, and well before the Congress vice-president was born.”
With ANI inputs
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