The BJP on Thursday accused Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tej Pratap Yadav of misogyny for his remarks berating Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and asking them to replace Kumar in their names with "Kumari", often used with the names of girls.
Mr Yadav, the elder son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, made the comment at a rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population of Register (NPR where he attacked the ruling Janata Dal United (JD-U), which is headed by Mr Kumar and BJP, to which Sushil Kumar Modi belongs, for the dramatic realignment of the two parties in July, 2017.
"I therefore say Nitish Kumar, whom my father had aptly named palturam (turncoat), can also be called Nitish Kumari. And his companion Sushil Kumar Modi, the bearer of the saffron flag, called Sushil Kumari Modi. They cannot take us head on... they sit in their homes wearing bangles," Mr Yadav jeered before the crowd
The RJD rally was held at Masaurhi in rural Patna late on Wednesday night and video clips of it were beamed by local TV news channels.
BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand reacted angrily, demanding an apology from the RJD leader. He reminded Mr Yadav of the allegations of domestic violence that his estranged wife has levelled against him.
"Was Tej Pratap trying to say that those whose names are suffixed with Kumari and who wear bangles deserve no respect? His tasteless remarks and the applause they received from his supporters are proof that misogyny runs deep in the RJD," Mr Anand said.
He said Mr Yadav's "misogynistic" remarks lend credence to the charges his wife has levelled against him. He demanded that the RJD leader apologize to the chief minister and his deputy.
"If he is trying to emulate his uncouth father, he must beware he may similarly land in jail one day," the BJP spokesperson said.
Mr Yadav had married Aishwarya Roy, daughter of RJD MLA Chandrika Roy, in May 2018 but filed for divorce six months later.
Two months ago, his wife, who had chosen to stay back at the residence of her mother-in-law Rabri Devi, a former chief minister, in a bid to salvage her marriage, filed a police complaint accusing the mother and the son besides eldest sister-in-law Misa Bharti of domestic violence.
RJD national vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, a founding member of the party and an old associate of Mr Prasad, also expressed his disapproval when asked about the young leaders remark.
"This is not right. In politics, there must not be any place for derogatory remarks. People get carried away and end up with egg on their face, only to repent later," the former union minister said.
JD-U spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said the remarks were in "poor taste" and many senior RJD leaders felt embarrassed.
Mr Kumar's JD-U had contested the last assembly elections in 2015 as part of the ''grand alliance'' which also included the RJD. The alliance drubbed the BJP-led NDA and Kumar became the chief minister.
He, however, broke ranks with RJD and formed a coalition government with the BJP in 2017, leaving Lalu Prasad's party accusing him of betrayal and feeling bitter.