In what is widely being condemned as a display of sexism in the Parliament of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dig at Congress member Renuka Chowdhury in the Rajya Sabha over her laughter, after Vice President Venkaiah Naidu admonished her for it.
The Congress MP laughed loudly after the Prime Minister claimed that Aadhaar was conceptualised during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
To this, Venkaiah said that he would have to name her and call her out for her “unruly behaviour.”
“If you have some problem, go to the doctor please,” he said and termed her behaviour as “loose, dark and unruly.”
At this point, Modi interjected and said, “Chairman sir, I request you not to tell Renukaji anything. It is our good fortune to listen to such laughter for the first time after Ramayan serial,” he said, amidst thunderous applause.
You can watch it here:
Modi’s comment was a reference to Soorpanakha, a character from Ramayana projected as a ‘loose’ woman. The BJP’s IT cell confirmed this on Twitter with this controversial tweet.
The video comparing Renuka Chowdhury to Soorpanakha was also shared by the Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, on both his Facebook and Twitter pages.
Renuka later hit back at the PM. “PM made a personal remark, what else do you expect from him? I can't fall to that level to reply to him. This is actually called denigrating the status of a woman,” she told ANI.
The Congress later condemned the PM’s comment, and asked Rajya Sabha Speaker Venkaiah Naidu to not act in a partisan manner.
On Thursday, the Congress called it an insult, and decided to file a privilege motion in the Rajya Sabha against the PM’s remarks.
The Prime Minister and the Vice President were condemned severely insulting a woman and insinuating that she had mental health issues.