Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hit out at opposition leaders accusing them of "insulting" Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the first woman to occupy the post, and said the opposition parties will have to pay a price for it.
Addressing a public meeting in Agra, he said that the country has seen how the opposition leaders tried to disrespect Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha when she was exposing their bundles of lies bit by bit, referring to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Rafale deal.
"For the first time a woman has become Defence Minister of the country and for the first time the security of 115 crore countrymen is in the hands of a woman. That woman Defence Minister brought the opposition to its knees. Their lies were exposed.
"They were left so baffled that they are now bent on insulting a woman Defence Minister. This is not just an insult to the Defence Minister but an insult to women and women power in the country. Such irresponsible leaders will have to pay a price for it," Modi said.
Modi's attack came in the context of Rahul Gandhi's remarks at a public meeting in Jaipur where he took a dig at the Prime Minister saying he got a woman to defend him in Parliament on the matter of the Rafale deal while he ran away from it.
"We raised the questions on Rafale deal in the court of the public. We demanded Narendra Modi Ji to come forward to explain his stand on the Rafale deal and the Congress Party would give its viewpoint on the issue but you have seen that the Prime Minister, who claims to have a 56-inch chest, did not show courage to enter the Parliament on the day," he said.
He said Sitharaman delivered a speech of two-and-a-half hours but all her arguments were thrown to the winds since she could not give a satisfactory reply to even a single question.
Gandhi said the Prime Minister ran away from the court of the people and asked "Sitharamanji defend me, I will not be able to defend myself. You defend me. But she could not defend him in her two-and-a-half hour debate".
"Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's outstanding speech in Parliament has silenced the opposition. Unable to counter her on facts, they are resorting to misogyny. They owe an apology to India's Nari Shakti," he said in a tweet posting a video clip of Modi's speech in Agra.
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