BJP leader Khushbu Sundar on Friday questioned the silence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on a remark by a functionary of his party, the DMK, against her, demanding that he be sacked.
"I would like to see my Chief Minister (MK Stalin) stand up for me. Why is he silent?" Ms Sundar told NDTV, amid a snowballing controversy over a comment by DMK functionary Saidai Sidiq.
The BJP leader said she plans to press charges against the leader. "I will go wherever I have to go. I will file a complaint and fight for my dignity and respect," she said.
Asked about sexist remarks by leaders in her own party - specifically the instance of the Maharashtra BJP chief telling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule to "leave politics and work in the kitchen" - Ms Sundar said she had called out those remarks too.
"I did stand up for Supriya, but there is a lot of difference between a misogynist remark and the kind of the remark the DMK leader made at a public platform. He said Khushbu Sundar is easily available. He called me a whore," she said.
"All I would like to ask my Chief Minister is if someone from my party had spoken like this, would my Chief Minister still be silent?" Ms Sundar said.
The BJP leader said she had taken the comments "very personally". "This man has gone to the lowest. My daughters who are 22 and 19 will question me. I want to be a role model for my daughters," she said.
Ms Sundar's remarks come a day after DMK women's wing secretary and party's MP Kanimozhi apologised to Ms Sundar over the DMK functionary's remark targeting the actress-politician and other BJP women leaders in Tamil Nadu.
The Thoothukudi MP, who is also deputy general secretary of the DMK, said neither the party nor its chief MK Stalin would tolerate such remarks.
"I apologise as a woman and human being for what was said. This can never be tolerated irrespective of whoever did it, of the space it was said or party they adhere to. And I'm able to openly apologise for this because my leader @mkstalin and my party @arivalayam don't condone this," Kanimozhi said in her tweet in response to a post which the actress tagged and asked if insulting women was part of the new Dravidian model.
After a video of the DMK functionary Saidai Sidiq's remark on the women went viral in the social media, Ms Sundar on Thursday tagged Kanimozhi and tweeted, "When men abuse women, it just shows what kind of upbringing they have had & the toxic environment they were brought up in. These men insult the womb of a woman. Such men call themselves followers of #Kalaignar Is this new Dravidian model under H'ble CM @mkstalin rule?@KanimozhiDMK."