Smriti Irani calls Kejriwal ‘anti-women’ on election day, CM responds

The union minister asks him if he doesn’t consider women capable enough to decide who to vote for

Smriti and Arvind
Irani objected to the chief minister's “discuss with men” statement and accused him of misogyny | PTI File

Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday (February 8) called Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “anti-women” after the AAP leader urged the women of the national capital to discuss with men who to vote for in the ongoing assembly elections. In his response, the chief minister tendered a clarification, paving way for a Twitter war on poll day.

“Definitely go and vote. A special appeal to all women – just as you take up the responsibility of the home, the responsibility of the country and Delhi is with you. All you women must go and vote and take the men in your house along with you. You must discuss with men whom to vote for,” Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi minutes ahead of the beginning of polling.

Irani, who is the minister of women and child development, objected to the “discuss with men” part and accused the chief minister of misogyny. “Don’t you consider women capable enough to decide for themselves who to vote for?” she tweeted back in response along with the hashtag #AntiWomenKejriwal in Hindi.

Kejriwal responded to Irani, saying, “Smriti ji, women of Delhi have decided who to vote for. And across Delhi, women have decided who their families will vote for. After all, they will have to run the house.” However, the Union minister shot back with another question. “The advice that you are giving to women, how many men did you tweet it to?” she tweeted.

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The chief minister also tendered a clarification for his first tweet while speaking to NDTV. He said women know how difficult it is to run a house. “If there’s a hike in electricity charges and prices, who will it hurt? This is why I said they should tell the men who to vote for,” he said in his clarification.

Around 1.47 crore Delhi voters are exercising their franchise in the Delhi elections on Saturday, of which, 66,80,277 are female voters. The election to 70-member Delhi assembly is being seen as a two-way fight between Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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