The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Thursday sought an explanation from Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his "extremely misogynistic" remarks against Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
While addressing a rally in Jaipur on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi got a woman to defend him in Parliament on the Rafale fighter jet deal.
"The watchman with a 56-inch chest ran away and told a woman, Sitharaman, defend me. I won't be able to defend myself, defend me. For two and a half hours, the woman could not defend him," Gandhi said in his address in Hindi.
Taking suo-motu cognizance, the NCW, in a strongly worded notice to Gandhi, condemned his remarks and asked him to give a satisfactory explanation.
"The remarks made are extremely misogynistic, offensive, unethical and shows an extreme disrespect towards the dignity and honour of women in general. The Commission strongly condemns such irresponsible and disparaging views," the NCW said in the notice.
On Wednesday, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma had informed IANS about sending a notice to Gandhi over the issue.
Gandhi also came under attack for his remarks from Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday night, Rahul Gandhi asked the Prime Minister to "be a man" and answer queries raised by him over the Rafale fighter aircraft deal.
Respect for women in the Indian culture begins at home, he said hours after Modi hit out at opposition leaders accusing them of "insulting" Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the first woman to occupy the post, and said the opposition parties will have to pay a price for it.
"With all due respect Modi Ji, in our culture respect for women begins at home. Stop shaking. Be a man and answer my question: Did the Air Force and Defence Ministry object when you bypassed the original Rafale deal? Yes? Or No?," Gandhi tweeted.
Addressing a public meeting in Agra, Modi had said that the country has seen how the opposition leaders tried to disrespect Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha when she was exposing their bundles of lies bit by bit, referring to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Rafale deal.
"They (opposition) were left so baffled that they are now bent on insulting a woman Defence Minister. This is not just an insult to the Defence Minister but an insult to women and women power in the country. Such irresponsible leaders will have to pay a price for it," Modi said.