Telangana Home Minister Mahmood Ali on Saturday said that women wearing short clothes could lead to problems, prompting Opposition parties to criticise him for his “sexist” and “shameful” remarks.

The Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader made the statement while commenting on allegations that some women who appeared for the Urdu medium degree examination at Hyderabad’s KV Ranga Reddy College were forced to remove their burqas.

Ali said that the government will take action in connection with the matter, and clarified that there was no rule against wearing burqas, ANI reported. “Some headmaster or principal might be doing this, but our policy is totally secular,” he said.

The home minister also urged women not to wear short clothes. “If you wear European dresses, it will not be a good situation,” he said. “There are Islamic dresses, or there are the kind of clothes that our Hindu sisters wear, who wrap a pallu over their heads. If women wear short clothes, it creates problems. If they are fully clothed, people do not have an issue.”

Commenting on the remarks, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s state chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar questioned whether the Telangana government wanted to decide what women should wear. “While the Home Minister lectures on what women should wear, why was his mouth covered when there were rapes and murders going on?” he asked.

State BJP spokesperson Rani Rudrama said that Ali should apologise for his “shameful comments” and described them as an outright insult to women, the Deccan Chronicle reported.

The Telangana Congress said that the state home minister’s remarks and deserved to be condemned.