Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday hit out at Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for his controversial remark made in "a lighter vein" on Kashmiri women and called him a "weak, insecure and pathetic man".
The Congress leader also maintained that "women are not assets to be owned by men."
Rahul condemned the comments by Khattar, where he had said on a lighter note that Haryana can now get brides from Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 35A, under which Kashmiri women would lose property rights if they marry a person from outside Jammu and Kashmir.
"Haryana CM Khattar's comment on Kashmiri women is despicable and shows what years of RSS training does to the mind of a weak, insecure and pathetic man. Women are not assets to be owned by men," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Soon after his tweet, Khattar hit back at Rahul.
"Dear Rahul Gandhi ji, at least at your level, you shouldn't react on distorted news. I'm attaching the video of what I actually said, and In what context -- this will give you clarity of mind," said Chief Minister Khattar, with his speech attached along with subtitles in Hindi.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also took to the micro-blogging site and said people holding high public office must restrain themselves from making insensitive comments on the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
"We, and more so people holding high public office must restrain ourselves from making insensitive comments about the beloved people of Jammu and Kashmir. These are hurtful, not only for J&K, but the entire nation," she wrote on her Twitter handle.
However, some came out in support of Khattar stating that he is being misinterpreted by the media.
Ace wrestler Babita Phogat backed him, saying that there was nothing "offensive in his statement". "Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has not made any such statement that is offensive to our sisters and daughters. I urge media to not misinterpret his statement," Arjuna awardee Babita said while replying to a journalist on Twitter.
Kahttar on Friday highlighted Haryana's skewed sex ratio, and gave a reference to what a BJP leader had said in 2014 about bringing "daughters-in-law from Bihar".
"Our minister Dhankhar ji used to say that we will have to bring daughters-in-law from Bihar if the number of girls reduces and the number of boys increases. Now people say that since Kashmir is open, we can bring girls from there. Jokes apart, if there is a good (sex) ratio, the balance in the society will be set right," Khattar said at the rally in Haryana's Fatehabad.
Chief Minister Khattar's remarks had come after a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh said the party workers could now marry "fair Kashmiri women".
( With inputs from ANI )