The BJP lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh, who called Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati "a blot on womankind" among other things, has been asked to explain her insulting remarks by the National Commission for Women (NCW).
Sadhana Singh alleged that Ms Mayawati has traded her dignity for power. "She (Mayawati) has no self-respect... she was almost molested earlier and yet... in history, when Draupadi was molested, she took a vow to seek revenge... but this woman, she lost everything, but still sold her dignity for the sake of power. We strongly condemn Mayawati ji. She is a blot on womankind. A woman who gulped insults for comfort and power... is a blot on womankind," the legislator from Mughalsarai, said at a rally on Saturday.
"Such derogatory statements are unbecoming of a leader and highly condemnable," NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said.
We condemn the "extremely offensive, irresponsible and unethical" remarks, the women's commission said. Ms Singh has to provide a "satisfactory explanation", the note added.
The UP lawmaker's insensitive comments were an apparent reference to the infamous episode when Ms Mayawati was assaulted by Samajwadi Party workers at a guest house in Lucknow in 1995 that triggered decades of animosity between the two parties. The leaders buried the hatchet last year and formed an alliance earlier this month to beat the BJP in the national elections.
Amid widespread criticism, Ms Singh apologized saying "she had no such intention to hurt anyone....". "I regret what I said. I just shared a woman's pain, and didn't want to insult anyone," Ms Singh said in a statement.
However, the BSP has already filed a complaint against her. "They have lost their mental balance in fear of losing the election in Uttar Pradesh," said the BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who had declared that "insulting Mayawati ji is like insulting me" shortly after formalising their alliance, added that the "objectionable and filthy terms" used against Mayawati ji are deplorable. "They are a sign of BJP's moral bankruptcy and frustration. It is also insulting for the women of this country," he said.