Amethi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's "shorts" comment to allege that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) discriminates against women is indecent and derogatory, union minister Smriti Irani has said.
- 'Ever seen women in shorts working with RSS?' Rahul Gandhi had said
- Rahul Gandhi's comment is indecent and derogatory, Smriti Irani said
- Khakhi shorts were a trademark RSS uniform for drills till last year
"If Rahulji believes that wearing shorts in India is a sign of empowerment, as a woman I want to contradict it," said Ms Irani, who was in Mr Gandhi's Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Amethi and addressed a mega rally with BJP chief Amit Shah.
Rahul Gandhi, who is touring Gujarat ahead of assembly elections later this year, was attacking the BJP and its ideological mentor RSS when he told a gathering of women in Vadodara earlier in the day, "They are not interested in women's rights. How many women are in the RSS? Have you ever seen women in shorts working with RSS? I have never seen.You see women in the Congress all the time. In the RSS you will never see women. God knows what mistakes women have committed that they cannot be a part of RSS."
Ms Irani said Mr Gandhi had used derogatory comments about women associated with the RSS. "Today, an indecent comment has been made on our sisters connected with the Sangh, the Rashtriya Sevika Sangh or the sisters, wives and sisters-in-law of ordinary Sangh workers," she said.
Another BJP leader Nupur Sharma, tweeted: "If your objective is to see women in shorts there's little hope you'll be able to do anything for women empowerment."
Khakhi shorts were a trademark RSS uniform for drills, worn with pride by many BJP icons including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, before the organisation embraced a new look last year. The shorts have been replaced by brown trousers.
The change was reportedly driven by the concern that many young people were reluctant to join the RSS because of the flared, knee length shorts.