Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Wednesday shut up National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma for the latter’s objectionable comments amidst controversy over the remarks made by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Not mincing her words, Chaturvedi told Sharma that she was a joke.
Speaking in the assembly, Nitish Kumar had made questionable comments on women while explaining why the birth rate in the state was coming down. Kumar had argued that this was due to the fact that educated women knew how to stop their husbands from ejaculating inside them.
However, Kumar’s expression and choice of words caused widespread outrage.
From Narendra Modi to AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, Kumar faced criticism from a large group of rival politicians.
Also joining the bandwagon was Rekha Sharma, who heads the National Commission for Women but has often faced condemnation for ignoring the plight of women to avoid embarrassment for her party, the BJP.
Sharma took to X, formerly known as Twitter, and tagged Chaturvedi if she would condemn Nitish Kumar for his comments. She wrote, “It will be good if the champions of the women’s cause @priyankac19 @priyankagandhi @BDUTT @AtishiAAP and their friend join in to condemn and demand apology from @NitishKumar.”
Chaturvedi replied, “My dear biased, politically motivated Madam, I do unequivocally condemn any language used for women which is derogatory-irrespective of my politics, even if it comes from an ally. I am also certain that Chief Minister will revisit his usage of words and apologise. Unfortunately as far as I recall, whenever we expected you to stand up for women, you chose selective silence and selectively action- doing a huge disservice to your chair as NCW which is supposedly non partisan.”
Sharma then came up with a past story alleging that Chaturvedi had failed to act against an individual from her party when the former had informed her about his ‘deeds.’ “My not so Dear Priyanka ji do you remember how you showed your inability to do anything against a leader who was once upon a time in your party when I showed you all the proofs of his deeds? How unbiased you were..remember?” Sharma asked.
Baffled by Sharma’s response, Chaturvedi wondered what was stopping the former from acting since she held a position of power as the NCW chief. She said, “What stopped you from taking action? In fact I had told you if you have the proof etc there’s nothing much I can do! Did I tie your hands, legs or seal your lips? You were in the position of power to do so! In fact you can still do it, but I know what’s stopping you, your love for your party and its allies. Now that you wish to make it a slugfest, happy to help take it to conclusion!”
Now that the Chief Minister has apologised, I ask NCW Chair @sharmarekha to name the person against whom she has evidence and ask authorities in Maharashtra to take action.
Does she have the courage to go beyond her politics? I sincerely doubt it. https://t.co/UqwTHCGVuA
— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) November 8, 2023
Accusing Sharma of acting like a troll, Chaturvedi added, “In the interest of transparency, I urge NCW chair @sharmarekha to bring the allegation against the person in the public domain and pursue it with relevant authorities. I could not do it then, I cannot do it now since it is only her who has the evidence. Show your responsibility to the chair and do the needful rather than being a troll.”
Nitish Kumar later apologised for his choice of words and issued a clarification. This prompted Chaturvedi to launch another attack on Sharma as she wrote, “Now that the Chief Minister has apologised, I ask NCW Chair @sharmarekha to name the person against whom she has evidence and ask authorities in Maharashtra to take action. Does she have the courage to go beyond her politics? I sincerely doubt it.”