Hitting back at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Sunanda Pushkar said that Modi's comment describing her as the “Rs 50-crore girlfriend” of Shashi Tharoor was "downright disgusting” and belittling of women.
Pushkar in an interview with CNN IBN's Sagarika Ghose said that she is extremely disappointed by Modi's comment. "I felt hurt but my friends were way more offended by this statement. My son was offended to hear that a price tag was being put on me," she said.
Talking about Tharoor's reaction to Modi's comment, she said that this is the last thing that her husband had expected from the chief minister of Gujarat, especially at a time when he makes a comeback in politics. "We certainly didn't expect it from him. This is below the belt attack. People should attack directly and not go through family. Don't be so cheap, and stoop to such low level. It doesn't befit decent human beings, which is why I naturally felt bad for him (Shashi). He too felt bad for me because I have been completely misunderstood from day one," she said.
When asked if she would like to send any message to Modi, she said," I would like to tell him that why don't you take on people who you should be taking on to win an election. I would like to tell him to respect women. I had noticed previously that he likes to take potshots at women. Isn't the BJP leader in Lok Sabha a woman? I would appeal to all the women in BJP to get together and ask Modi why is he attacking women? If he wants to address the issue of corruption, I'll show him my accounts and he can tell me from where he is getting the imaginary Rs 50 crore figure"
Talking about the stereotypical approach of men towards women in India she said that it is not just in politics, be it in any field, "if a woman is independent and fairly decent looking she gets flagged."
Pushkar claimed to be a "good wife" and a "modern bharatiya woman" who is supportive of her husband's work and still has her own thoughts and is democratic. She also revealed that her friends from across all parties, have been extremely supportive to her, post Modi's derogatory comment.
Modi, at an election rally in Himachal Pradesh two days ago had described Sunanda Pushkar as a "Rs 50 crore girlfriend" of Shashi Tharoor. Tharoor then retorted, "My wife is worth a lot more than your imaginary 50 crores. She is priceless. But you need to be able to love someone to understand that."
On Wednesday morning, another BJP leader Naqvi took the fight forward. He said, "For an international love guru like him (Tharoor), a ministry of love affairs should be created.."
Tharoor, who had to quit the government in 2010 over the IPL Kochi cricket controversy involving his then friend Sunanda Pushkar, was appointed minister of state, Human Resource Development in Sunday's reshuffle.