The National Commission for Women on Monday issued a notice to Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Sadhna Singh for her derogatory remarks about Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, ANI reported.

The commission described the comments as “extremely offensive” and “unethical” and said it showed disrespect towards the dignity of women. The panel asked Singh to respond to the notice with a “satisfactory explanation”.

National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma on Sunday had said: “Such derogatory statements are unbecoming of a leader and highly condemnable. NCW has taken suo motu cognisance.”

The remarks

Addressing a public rally on Saturday, Singh had claimed Mayawati “lacked self-respect” and had compared her to a eunuch. She had claimed that Mayawati was “a blot on womankind”. Singh represents Mughalsarai in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

Singh had said: “[Mayawati] has no sense of self-respect, she was almost molested earlier and yet, in history, when Draupadi was molested, she took a vow for revenge... but this woman, she lost everything, but still sold her dignity for the sake of power. A woman who gulped down insults for comfort and power is a blot on womankind.”

Singh had claimed that Mayawati collaborated with those responsible for abusing her in the first place, referring to an incident in 1995 when the BSP chief was allegedly locked inside a guest house in Lucknow by Samajwadi Party workers and assaulted after she had quit an alliance.

Singh later said she had not meant to insult Mayawati but just wanted to remind her of the 1995 incident, when the BJP had helped her after she was humiliated. Singh said, “I apologise to anyone who was hurt by my words.”

Another BJP MLA defends remarks

Surendra Singh, the BJP MLA from Bariya, defended Sadhana Singh’s remarks, PTI reported. “There is nothing wrong in what Sadhana Singh said,” he said. “Any person who has zero self-respect is called a transgender. The manner in which Mayawati has joined hands with the Samajwadi Party after the guesthouse case of 1995 goes on to prove that she has no self-respect.”

Surendra Singh said he will protest against any case filed against Sadhana Singh on the matter.

Meanwhile, leaders of other political parties rebuked Sadhana Singh for her comments.

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav said his party will lodge a complaint against Singh, ANI reported. Yadav’s party recently announced an alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“The public will give them [BJP] an answer in elections,” Yadav said. “How can someone speak like that? They are frustrated as in last 4.5 years they did not do anything.”