Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday targeted Narendra Modi over his personal life, saying it took the BJP's prime minister nominee —"who talks about honour of women" — many "elections" to admit that he was married.
"Don't know how many elections he (Modi) has contested till now, but he has revealed for the first time that he is married. In Delhi, he talks about honour of women, but his own wife's name doesn't reach the affidavit," Gandhi said at his first rally in Jammu and Kashmir this year.
Gandhi's remarks came a day after a controversy erupted over Modi, for the first time, declaring himself as a married man in an affidavit filed before the Election Commission along with his nomination papers for the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat. Earlier, Modi never used his wife Jashodaben's name in poll affidavits.
The nomination form for a candidate does not say it is mandatory to mention spouse's name. But, the Supreme Court had recently said every column in asset affidavit had to be filled. Otherwise, the Election Commission could take action against the candidate. The asset affidavit section seeks details of assets of the candidate, his wife and children (if any).
Gandhi also took a dig at the Gujarat chief minister over the snoopgate controversy.
"I read a poster of the BJP which said it (the party) respected women. It's good... (But in Gujarat) the entire state machinery is used to track the movement of one lady. Her phone gets tapped because the CM wants. What kind of respect do they have for the women?"
He was referring to the controversy that broke out in the run-up to the assembly elections late last year after two investigative news websites made public tapes in which Modi's aide Amit Shah was purportedly heard directing the police to put a young woman and a senior IAS officer under surveillance in 2009.
Stressing he was concerned about his ties with the people, Gandhi said, "I don't have any interest in winning or losing. I got only one thing. It's the love and the relation between you and me. It's all I have got."
At the rally in Dodda, about 200 km from Jammu, Gandhi also said the BJP's ministers in Karnataka watched videos while they were in the state assembly.
"What kind of videos, you would have read in the newspapers," he added, apparently referring to an episode during BJP's tenure in Karnataka when ministers were caught on TV allegedly watching porn clips in the state assembly.
Hitting out at the BJP, Gandhi also claimed that he had gone to Chhattisgarh where he had been told that 20,000 women were missing. "They don't know where they went, they are missing."
Chhattisgarh is ruled by the Raman Singh-led BJP government.
(With PTI inputs)