In a sexist jibe at Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her speech on Rafale deal in Parliament, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that PM Modi got “a woman” to defend him in Parliament. Rahul’s remarks at a rally in Jaipur invited sharp reaction from the prime minister who termed the Congress chief’s statement as an insult to all the women in the country.
Gandhi said the PM had “run away” from a debate in Parliament on the issue while referring to him as a prime minister who claimed to have a broad chest. “The watchman with a 56-inch chest ran away and told a woman, Sitharaman ji, defend me. I won’t be able to defend myself, defend me,” Rahul said at the rally.
“For two and a half hours, the woman could not defend him. I had asked a straight question – answer yes or no – but she couldn’t answer,” he said, using the Hindi word ‘mahila’ for a woman.
This was the Gandhi scion’s first public meeting after Congress formed the government in the state.
Later in the speech, he accused the prime minister again of running away from the debate, but this time did not refer to the defence minister in the same manner.
PM Modi, in his public meeting later in the day in Agra, reacted strongly to Gandhi’s remark. He said now the opposition is bent upon insulting a woman. “This is an insult to the women in the country,” he said while asserting that Sitharaman defended the Rafale deal strongly.
The prime minister launched civic projects worth Rs 2,980 crore during his visit to Agra today.