A BJP leader campaigning in Uttar Pradesh is the latest to raise the outrage-meter ahead of the April-May national election. At a public rally in Meerut, the BJP's Jayakaran Gupta said "skirt waali bai" in what was interpreted as a reference to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
"One Congress leader loudly asks, acche din aaye (did you see good times)? They can't see acche din when a skirt waali bai (those who wear skirts) is visiting temples in saris and those who avoid Ganga waters are treating it as holy," Jayakaran Gupta said to a gathering.
Criticised for the remark, Jayakaran Gupta later backtracked, saying: "Many people are doing that. Now you need to see who fits under that description."
Quite a few sexist comments have been made since Priyanka Gandhi joined politics in January and was appointed one of the two Congress general secretaries in charge of the party's campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
Last month, a BJP lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh, Harish Dwivedi, had said: "Priyanka Gandhi wears jeans and top in Delhi but when she comes to rural areas she wears sari and sindoor."
Another senior BJP leader, Kailash Vijayavargiya, had said that the Congress was fielding "chocolatey faces" because it has a shortage of strong leaders. He later said he had meant filmstars, not any political leader.
The Congress and its allies have also been guilty of sexist comments.
Retaliating to Mr Vijayavargiya's comments, a Madhya Pradesh minister, Sajjan Singh Verma, had said: "It is the BJP's bad luck that they do not have someone as beautiful as Priyanka Gandhi in their party. They have one Hema Malini and they make her dance to classical songs for votes."
On Monday, a Congress ally in Maharashtra, Jaydeep Kawade, used extremely offensive words for Union Minister Smriti Irani, who is the BJP candidate in Amethi.
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