NEW DELHI: Congress leader Anand Sharma on Thursday said that the notice issued by the National Commission for Women (NCW) to Congress president Rahul Gandhi was a politically motivated move and accused that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself "dragged the Indian political discourse to a gutter level".
"It (NCW notice) is politically motivated. There should have been a number of notices sent for the Prime Minister and (BJP president) Amit Shah. Does Shushma Swaraj have the guts to criticise the Prime Minister for lowering the dignity of his own office repeatedly? It is the Prime Minister who has lowered the political discourse to a gutter level," said Sharma while addressing media here.
"It is not true that Rahul Gandhi Ji has downgraded the standard of political debates, the reality is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was using Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as a shield. If he really has the courage and stands for the truth, he should have come to the Parliament himself," added Sharma.
While saying that the Prime Minister was himself responsible for lowering the standards of political debate in the country, the former Union Minister of Commerce said, "Ever since he was the Gujarat Chief Minister and even today, the kind of language he has used, he has had no regard for his position, neither has he any decency. During the rallies for the recently concluded elections, what kind of words did he use against Sonia Gandhi Ji".
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi also echoed similar comments, saying that the BJP was responsible for lowering the standards of political debates.
"If there is a political party that has lowered the standards of the political discourse, it is the BJP, and it started with Narendra Modi Ji. He has used words like 'the Congress widow', the 'Rs 50 crore girlfriend', 'Itlaian cow', etc, I think Sushma Swaraj Ji should criticise him (PM Modi) for using words like these," Chaturvedi said.
She further led a scathing attack on NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma. "I want to ask one thing from the NCW chairperson, the responsibility she has been given is not a political responsibility, it is a responsibility towards the women of the country, so why was she quiet when female journalists were being called prostitutes? Why was she quiet when cases like Kathua and Unnao were coming? This notice shows that she is fulfilling her political responsibility rather than fulfilling constitutional responsibility," Chaturvedi added.
Earlier today, the NCW issued a notice against Rahul Gandhi for allegedly making sexist remarks against Sitharaman in Parliament. The Gandhi scion had ridiculed the Prime Minister, saying that he could not "even come to Parliament for a minute to respond to questions posed on the Rafale deal and asked a lady (Nirmala Sitharaman) to save him."