Union minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said that everyone has the right to pray but not the right to desecrate. She was referring to the protests in Kerala following the Supreme Court’s judgment on the entry of women into the famous Sabarimala temple.

Last month, the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to worship at the shrine. Earlier, women of menstruating age were not allowed into the temple. Continuous protests were held outside the shrine last week when its gates opened to devotees for monthly rituals for the first time since the court’s order. Protestors blocked women devotees, activists and journalists who tried to enter the temple.

“I am nobody to comment on the Supreme Court verdict but I believe I have the right to pray, but not the right to desecrate,” Irani said at an event called the Young Thinkers’ Conference in Mumbai. “Just plain common sense is that would you carry a napkin steeped in menstrual blood and walk into a friend’s house? You would not. And would you think it is respectful to do the same when you walk into the house of god? That is the difference.”

Irani’s comments came in the context of media reports that said an activist allegedly tried to enter the Sabarimala temple last week carrying used sanitary pads. The activist has denied the allegations, NDTV reported.

She said that as a Cabinet minister, she cannot openly comment on the Supreme Court judgement. She drew parallels with her multi-faith family and said that as a Hindu, she is not allowed to accompany her Parsi husband to a fire temple. “I have a right to pray, but I do not have a right to desecrate,” she said.

After several users on Twitter criticised the comments, Irani claimed it was “fake news” and said she would upload a video as evidence.

The minister said the an agenda was launched using her as a bait. “As far as those who jump the gun regarding women visiting friend’s place with a sanitary napkin dipped in menstrual blood — I am yet to find a person who ‘takes’ a blood soaked napkin to ‘offer’ to any one let alone a friend,” she said on Twitter. “But what fascinates me though does not surprise me is that as a woman I am not free to have my own point of view. As long as I conform to the ‘liberal’ point of view I’m acceptable. How Liberal is that ??”