New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday came out in defence of Rahul Gandhi saying he never disrespects women and the BJP is indulging in an “indecent” act of accusing him of “misconduct” as it does not want a debate on Manipur violence.
After participating in the debate on the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha, Gandhi blew a flying kiss, drawing sharp reactions from the treasury benches with Union minister Smriti Irani calling him misogynist and saying the House had never witnessed such an “indecent act”.
Responding to the criticism, Congress whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore accused Irani of suffering from “Rahul-phobia” and asked her to come out of it.
“Smriti Irani is consumed by ‘Rahul phobia’ and she should try to come out of it,” Tagore said on BJP’s charge of ‘misbehaviour’ by Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha.
Party general secretary K C Venugopal said throughout the Bharat Jodo Yatra, “Those who joined it and watched it, all are giving it as a symbol of humankind and love and affection.” “But those who are thinking something in their mind, able misunderstanding. That is their problem, not Rahul Gandhi’s problem. Rahul Gandhi’s message is very clear opening ‘Mohabbat ki dukaan’ in ‘nafrat ka bazaar’. It is very clear,” Venugopal said.
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also sought to defend Gandhi, saying “I was at the visitors gallery and he (Rahul Gandhi) did it as a gesture of affection. They (BJP) can’t accept love.” “Why are they feeling bad about it? It was just a genuine gesture, that’s what he did. Like he said ‘mohabbat ki dukaan’. You people have got used to ‘nafrat’ (hatred), that is why you are not able to accept ‘mohabbat’ (love),” she said.
Congress MP Karti Chidambaram said, “I am not aware of the side-tracking strategy of the BJP. It’s unfortunate that they are trying to divert the attention from the content of the (Rahul Gandhi’s) speech.” According to Jharkhand Congress MP Geeta Koda, Gandhi has always respected women and his behaviour has always been good.
“Today, he talked about Manipur while speaking on the no-confidence motion, but the BJP which does not want to talk about Manipur and neither wants to see Rahul Gandhi in the house, so it is indulging in such ‘indecent’ behaviour.
“But we know our leader and he can never disrespect women,” Koda said.
BJP women MPs met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and demanded “stringent action” against Gandhi for his “inappropriate gesture”.
In a complaint, signed by more than 20 women parliamentarians, it was alleged that Gandhi behaved in an “indecent manner” which not only “insulted the dignity of women members in the House, but also brought disrepute and lowered the dignity of this august House”.