Prime Minister Narendra Modi tore into Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday for misogynist statements the Congress president made in Jaipur against Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman while attempting to attack the government over his Rafale 'scam' allegations.
Addressing a rally in Rajasthan's capital earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi invoked the Raksha Mantri while attacking the Prime Minister, seemingly chiding the latter for having asked 'a woman' to protect him:
"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 'protect me'."
The Prime Minister delivered a speech hours later in Agra where he let rip at the Congress president for his remarks, hailing Nirmala Sitharaman for her achievement in becoming the first woman Defence Minister in India's history, adding that Rahul Gandhi's remarks entailed an insult to women across the country.
"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 (NCW) has taken cognisance of Rahul Gandhi's sexist remark.
The remarks in Jaipur mark a continuation of Rahul Gandhi making his 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'.