File Image of BJP supporters.| PTI
NEW DELHI: Days ahead of the Assembly elections, senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar courted controversy on Wednesday after claiming that his party had more ‘beautiful women’ than the star campaigner of the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi.
The comments invited sharp criticism from across the spectrum with Priyanka saying the ‘sexist’ remarks exposed the saffron party’s mindset towards women.
The Congress demanded an apology for ‘insulting Indian womanhood’ and said the comments reflected the ‘petty and insulting culture of the BJP that commodifies women’. The party also demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. The BJP, however, was quick to distance itself, with Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu saying the comment was “unacceptable”.
It all started when Katiyar was asked about Priyanka being named as a star campaigner by the Congress for the UP polls. “It doesn’t matter. There are girls and women who are more beautiful than her and are also star campaigners,” he said. “Some of them are artists and heroines.
They are more beautiful than her. I think Smriti Irani is beautiful and she is also campaigning for the UP polls.”
Priyanka retorted, “If that’s all BJP sees in my colleagues who are each strong, brave and beautiful women that have battled through all sorts of hardships to get where they are, then he makes me laugh even more. Because he exposes the BJP’s mindset towards the better half of the population of India!!!.” Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra also attacked the BJP leader and demanded an apology for his “misogynistic and atrocious” comments.