NEW DELHI: Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has come under fire for misogynistic remarks when he asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “be a man” and not field a woman, the defense minister, to defend him in debates over a controversial fighter jet deal.
He mocked Modi yesterday for staying away from parliament as it discussed accusations of corruption against the government in a deal to buy 36 Rafale planes from France.
Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for decades, often calls Modi a “thief” while the prime minister addresses him as “privileged dynast” in most of his public speeches.
Gandhi’s comments drew widespread criticism on social media. Some people said Sitharaman - the second woman to run the defense ministry after the late Indira Gandhi, a former prime minister and Rahul Gandhi’s grandmother - deserved an apology.
Sitharaman has not commented but her cabinet colleague, Sushma Swaraj, said Gandhi’s comments hit a “new low in the history of Indian politics”.