WITH JUST six days left for voting in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections, BSP chief Mayawati launched a bitter personal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging in a statement Monday that “married women in the BJP” are scared of their husbands meeting him because of the fear that “Modi might make them leave their wives like he did with his wife”.
The BJP hit back with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanding an apology from the BSP chief and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley posting on Twitter that Mayawati was “unfit for public life”.
Mayawati’s attack on the Prime Minister came a day after Modi questioned her response to the alleged gangrape of a Dalit woman in Rajasthan’s Alwar, and asked why her party had not withdrawn support to the Congress state government.
On Monday, reading from a statement, Mayawati said: “Aur waise bhi yeh doosron ki bahen-betiyon ki izzat karna kya jaane, jab yeh apne rajnitik swarth mein apni khud ki bekasoor patni tak ko bhi chod chuke hain. Itna hi nahin, balki mujhe toh yeh bhi maloom hua hai ki BJP mein khaaskar vivahit auratein apne aadmiyon ko Shri Modi ke nazdeek jaate dekh kar yeh sochkar bhi kaafi zyada ghabrati rehti hai ki kahin yeh Modi apni aurat ki tarah hamein bhi apne patiyon se alag na karwa de.”
(“What does he know about respecting the sisters and daughters of others given that he abandoned his own own innocent wife for his political interests. Not only this, I have come to know that especially the married women in BJP get very worried when they see their husbands near Shri Modi, at the thought that Modi might make them leave their wives like he did with his wife.”)
The BSP chief also said that her party was concerned over the Alwar incident and that it can decide to withdraw support to the state government if prompt action is not taken.
Reacting to her remarks, Jaitley posted on Twitter: “Behan Mayawati – She is firm on becoming a Prime Minister. Her governance, ethics and discourse stoops to an all-time low. Her personal attack today on the Prime Minister exposes her as unfit for public life.”
Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Sitharaman said: “Absolutely disappointing and shocking for her to speak so ill about the Prime Minister, about the PM’s personal life, and about the women in the BJP. Behan Mayawati, please be assured we are all absolutely safe, secure and have very good professional relationships in our party. You do not have to be worried about us.”
Sitharaman also asked Mayawati to respond to the Prime Minister’s question on her party’s support for the Rajasthan government.
“She should have answered why she did not speak for the girl in Rajasthan who was raped, whose case did not get filed or an FIR did not get registered till the time the elections were over on the suggestion of the ruling Congress party there,” she said.
“When the PM asked this question and demanded to withdraw her support to the Congress government in Rajasthan, having been in politics for long time, having held the position of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and being asked by the PM, she should have given a professional political answer and not reveal her worry, her anxiety that the mahagathbandhan is getting nowhere,” Sitharaman said.
“I think she has only demeaned the stature of her own leadership, forgotten the stature of the positions that she has held… this comment shows that she has no respect left for any position or institution in this country. She should really apologise for having commented so badly both on the private life of the Prime Minister and in general about all women in the BJP but at the same time, forgetting that Dalit girl in Rajasthan who is waiting for justice,” she said.