Tamil political orator Nanjil Sampath on Wednesday referred to Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi as someone who “we don’t know is a man or a woman” and claimed that she was “castrated” and sent to the Union territory, reported The News Minute. Sampath was in Puducherry to campaign for Congress leader V Vaithilingam, who is the party’s candidate from the constituency.

Sampath made the remark while criticising the “extra-constitutional authority” exercised by the Bharatiya Janata Party through the appointment of governors in states. He also mistook Bedi for fugitive businessman Nirav Modi, until he was corrected by the person behind him.

“There are BJP governors in 21 states in India,” said Sampath. “Here one woman, Nirav Modi, we don’t know if it is a man or a woman... [on being corrected] Kiran Bedi. What atrocity...are you a constitutional authority? Were you chosen by the people? After being castrated in Delhi, should you be sent to Puducherry?”

Sampath asked whether it was the lieutenant governor’s job to obstruct the work of Chief Minister V Narayanasamy. “Is this the job of a governor? A [Governor Banwarilal] Purohit for Tamil Nadu, a Kiran Bedi for Pondicherry. Extra constitutional authority in 21 states. Is this called democracy?”

Sampath is campaigning for an alliance led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which also includes the Congress. He is a former member of the DMK, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. He announced his retirement from politics last year but later said he would campaign for the DMK ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are scheduled for April 18.

Bedi is one of several governors in the country who have been members of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the past and have faced criticism for furthering the ruling party’s agenda in their states in recent years.