The Congress on Thursday lambasted Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat over his “ripped jeans” remarks and demanded that either the BJP leader apologise to the women of the country or resign.
Congress’s chief spokesperson and general secretary Randeep Surjewala said Rawat’s remarks displayed the “anti-women” face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was a result of its medieval mindset.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief ministers Yogi Adityanath and Manohar Lal Khattar have made anti-women comments in the past, but Rawat has crossed all limits.
“We demand on behalf of the daughters and women of the country that such a chief minister should apologise or resign, because this mentality will not work anymore.
“Those having thoughts of the 16th century do not have the right to rule India in the 21st century. They would have to go now and this is patriotism,” Surjewala told reporters.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also took a dig at the BJP over Rawat’s remarks.
Posting photographs on Twitter of the prime minister, Union minister Nitin Gadkari and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat wearing the organisation’s traditional khaki shorts, she said: “Oh my God!!! Their knees are showing.”
Surjewala said Rawat should be ashamed of himself as his job is to provide good governance and not looking at women with such thoughts.
“If the slightest shame is left, he should resign from the post or apologise to the women of the country,” he said.
Congress leader Alka Lamba said many BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders have made similar remarks against women in the past.
She said the women of the country are angry over the recent remarks as those have come from a newly-appointed chief minister.
“The Congress strongly condemns this kind of thinking towards women. We demand that Prime Minister Modi asks the Uttarakhand chief minister to immediately apologise. If you do not do this, you will have to replace him. Otherwise, the women of the country will launch an agitation and expose the BJP leaders and their mindset.
“We are giving a clear warning that we will take to the streets if he does not apologise. The Congress feels that the women of the country have complete freedom to eat, wear or speak whatever they want according to the Constitution and will not tolerate any such remarks. The Uttarakhand chief minister should apologise or he would have to resign,” Lamba said.
At an event on Tuesday, Rawat criticised women for wearing ripped jeans and wondered what values they will impart to their children, triggering a protest from opposition parties.
The Uttarakhand chief minister said due to a lack of values, youngsters these days follow strange fashion trends and consider themselves to be big shots after wearing jeans ripped at the knees, while women also follow such trends.
He said youngsters go to the market to buy ripped jeans and If they do not find one, they cut their jeans using scissors.
Rawat went on to describe the attire of a woman, who once sat next to him on a flight.
He said the woman was wearing boots, jeans ripped at the knees and several bangles in her hands with two children travelling with her. “She runs an NGO, goes out in the society and has two children, but she wears jeans ripped at the knees. What values will she impart?” he asked.