Supriya Sule husband posted the exchange on Twitter, calling out the BJP as a "misogynistic" party.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, targeting Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule on Wednesday, made a hugely controversial comment that has triggered outrage. "If you don't understand politics, go home and cook," he told the MP during a protest.
The sexist comment was made as the two parties sparred over reservations for OBC (Other Backward Class) in Maharashtra.
The BJP leader was apparently reacting to Supriya Sule comparing Maharashtra's fight for OBC quota with that of Madhya Pradesh and questioning how the BJP-ruled state got the green signal from the Supreme Court for quota in local elections. Ms Sule, whose party shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra, said she had contacted Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during his Delhi visit, but he did not reveal what he did to get the reprieve.
"The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh came to Delhi and met 'someone'... I don't know what suddenly happened over the next two days and they got a go-ahead for OBC reservations," Ms Sule told a party meeting in Marathi.
When the comment was relayed to the Maharashtra BJP president at his protest nearby, he snarked: "Why are you even in politics? Just go home and cook. Go to Delhi or to a cemetery, but get us the OBC quota. Despite being a Lok Sabha member, how come you don't know how to get an appointment with a Chief Minister?"
Facing a backlash, Mr Patil attempted damage control today saying he meant Ms Sule should "go to the villages and try to understand them" in politics.
"It is in my nature to respect women. What I meant was she should learn to live in rural areas where there are sayings like this. I respect Supriya-tai and we talk often," the BJP leader said.
The NCP has slammed the comments, even asking Mr Patil to "learn making chapattis so he can help his wife at home".
"He has not right to speak like that. He has no right to speak that way about my sister," said Deputy Maharashtra Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Ms Sule's cousin.
The BJP has been accusing Maharashtra's Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition of not doing enough for OBC quota, which was put on hold by the Supreme Court. The Maharashtra government, however, blames the Centre for not providing data.
Ms Sule's husband Sadanand Sule posted the exchange on Twitter, calling out the BJP as a "misogynistic" party.
“I am proud of my wife who is a homemaker, mother and a SUCCESSFUL politician, one amongst many other hardworking and talented women in India…this is an insult to all women…,” Mr Sule commented in a thread.