New Delhi, Aug 7: Union  Minister Smriti Irani came out in defence of the Centre by hitting back at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday. Speaking at Mahila Adhikar Sammelan here, Gandhi had blamed the BJP and the RSS for the condition of women in the country. “The ideology of BJP and RSS is that only men will run this country and if the women belong anywhere, it is at the back. No institution is left that is not attacked by BJP and RSS,” he had said. (Also read: Coming Together of Several Parties a Compliment to Modi, Says Irani) Also Read - #CancelBoardExam2021 Chorus Grows; More Than 5 Lakh Tweets & 2 Lakh Signatures So Far

In response, Irani said, “India’s Defence Minister is a lady, External Affairs Minister is a lady and the Lok Sabha Speaker is a lady. To disrespect women just because they are associated with the BJP or the RSS shows the level to which Rahul Gandhi will fall.” Irani herself is Textiles Minister in the current government. She held the prestigious Human Resource Development portfolio prior to this. Also Read - CBSE Board Exam 2021: Demand to Cancel Board Exams Grows Louder as Politicians, Actors Extend Support to Students. Check Latest Updates

This isn’t the first time Irani has sparred with Gandhi. They have, in fact, fought an election against each other from Amethi where Gandhi emerged victorious by a narrow margin. Also Read - Every Indian Deserves Chance to Safe Life: Rahul Gandhi on COVID-19 Vaccine Age Limit

Earlier, hours after Gandhi hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the no-confidence motion debate in Parliament, Irani had criticized him by saying that his gesture reeked of political hypocrisy.  While campaigning for the BJP during Karnataka Assembly elections, Irani had said Gandhi would not be able to speak for 15 minutes without a script in front of even her party’s candidate from Belthangady, Harish Poonja, let alone Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

At a public rally in Belthangady town, Irani said, “Rahul ji ne kaha 15 minute bolunga, Narendra bhai ne kya kaha? ‘Bolo bhaiya. Bolo lekin bina kagaz ke bolo’. Main to kehti hoon aaj Belthangady ka ek ek nagrik keh sakta hai ki Rahul ji, Modi Ji chhodo pehle Harish Poonja ke samne aake bolo (Rahul (Gandhi) said he will speak for 15 minutes, what did Narendra (Modi) say in reply? ‘Speak, but speak without a script.’)”