New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday attacked Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his remarks at a rally in Jaipur about defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Gandhi had said at the rally on Wednesday that Modi had fielded a “woman" minister to defend him in Parliament because he was “afraid" to face the House.

The comments by the Congress president is an “insult" to all the women in the country, Modi said at a public meeting in Agra. The National Commission for Women also criticized Gandhi and said it would send a notice to him about his comment, even as the remark by the Congress president drew flak from various quarters.

“The Prime Minister with his 56-inch chest did not come to the Lok Sabha for even a minute. For two and a half hours, Nirmala Sitharaman spoke. She could not answer our questions but Narendra Modi did not show his face for one minute in the Lok Sabha," Gandhi said in his first public meeting in Jaipur since his party’s victory in the Rajasthan assembly elections last month.

“He ran away from the people’s court and he told a woman, Sitharamanji, that you protect me because I will not be able to protect myself," Gandhi said in the context of the debate on the Rafale controversy in the Lok Sabha where the defence minister had responded on behalf of the government last week.

A few hours after Gandhi’s statements, Modi launched a scathing attack on him saying that the Congress leader had disrespected Sitharaman and all women.

“Sitharamanji stunned all opposition parties with her arguments based on facts. They are, however, adamant on disrespecting the defence minister. It is not her disrespect alone, but of all the women in the country and the irresponsible leaders will pay a price for this," Modi said in Agra.