External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi, calling his misogynist remarks against Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman "a new low in the history of Indian politics."
Taking to Twitter, Swaraj has taken on Rahul Gandhi for replying to Nirmala Sitharaman's response to his Rafale 'scam' allegations - a matter relating to the Ministry of Defence - first with personal attacks, and then a sexist remark.
Rahul Gandhi has come in for significant criticism for a sexist utterance made while he was speaking in Jaipur on Wednesday, where he chided the Prime Minister for asking 'a woman' to protect him.
Addressing a rally in Jaipur, the Congress president had said:
"The Prime Minister with the 56-inch-chest didn't come even once to the people's court - the Parliament. We smashed the Raksha Mantri's speech. 56-inch-chest Prime Minister said to a woman, Sitharaman ji 'protect me', I will not be able to protect myself."
Hours later, the Prime Minister tore into Rahul Gandhi at a rally in Agra, hailing Nirmala Sitharaman for her achievement in becoming the first woman Defence Minister in India's history:
PM Modi said, "Two-three days ago you'd have seen in Parliament - We're proud that our daughter of our nation who has for the first time become the country's Raksha Mantri and for the first time a woman is handling the protection and security of 125 crore citizens. This is a matter of women's pride and progress. And when our Raksha Mantri, a woman, smashed Opposition parties' leaders out of the park, exposed all their lies -- you would have seen their eyes were torn asunder. And our Raksha Mantri, one-by-one, put the truth on the floor of the house. They were so shocked, they have been reduced to insulting a woman - a woman Raksha Mantri. This isn't just an insult to the Raksha Mantri, it's an insult to India's Nari Shakti, and these irresponsible politicians will have to pay the price for this."
The National Commission for Women also took cognisance of Rahul Gandhi's sexist remark:
BJP party president Amit Shah has also posted on the topic:
Alarmingly, however, not done there, Rahul Gandhi proceeded to answer with a second sexist and personal jibe, telling the Prime Minister to 'man up' and reply to his allegations on Rafale:
The remarks in Jaipur marked a continuation of the Congress making its attacks against Nirmala Sitharaman personal. After she had answered his questions point-by-point and given as good as she got in Parliament, the Congress president had taken issue with her saying she hailed from a middle-class background, with his Congress party-mates proceeding list her family members' past links with the Congress, ironically suggesting that by dint of association with the party one ceases to be middle-class.
Speaking to Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in the #FinalRafaleDebate, Nirmala Sitharaman delivered an emotive response, refusing to back down from her 'middle-class' declaration and heaping shame on the Congress for trying to 'dig dirt' on people's families and questioning them on lines like this while themselves hailing from 'khandaans'.