According to Irani, she has been a victim of online misogyny and Tehseen Poonawalla in a sexist tweet had asked her to ‘erect’ a 56-inch pole at every University with a condom on it.
Union Minister Smriti Irani, during an interview with CNN News-18, showed a ‘sexist’ tweet that she claimed was made by Tehseen Poonawalla. The tweet was from February 2016, when the decision to hoist India’s flag at every University was taken. According to Irani, she has been a victim of online misogyny and Tehseen Poonawalla in a sexist tweet had asked her to ‘erect’ a 56-inch pole at every University with a condom on it. However, none of the Congress leaders or politicians from any other party came out and criticised Poonawalla, she said.
Denying Smriti Irani’s claim, Tehseen Poonawala said, “My lawyers will NOW do the talking. Everyone including women on twitter who know me , know I am vv liberal n not a misogynistic person.” Anyone who knows me …anyone including women will tell u Iam anything but sexist. If at all I am very very liberal …and…My stand on womens issues are ..women have every right a man including the right to love who they want n marry n wear what they want and…Unbelievable Im called a sexist. Im pro abortion anti martial rape pro homosexuality pro women wearing what they want etc etc,” he tweeted. “Will be speaking to my lawyers n doing what i need to do… seriously sick,” he said.
Here is a part of Smriti Irani’s interview:
— News18 (@CNNnews18) February 4, 2017
She also questioned quizmaster and Trinamool Congress member Derek O’Brien who targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday by saying that he has encouraged ‘hatred’ by following people who ran ‘hate’ campaigns on social media. Derek O’Brien said: “26 Twitter handles that give out rape threats, communal threats are followed by the Prime Minister.
Irani said that she was very disappointed because O’Brien who is her colleague at the Rajya Sabha never raised his voice in her support. Tehseen Poonawalla has been in controversy in the past for criticising the government of India from changing the name of the Aurangzeb Road to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Road in 2015 and for speaking in favour of the POK Prime Minister.
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This isn’t the first time that Smriti Irani has been targeted with the sexist comments. In 2015, when she was the HRD Minister, Sharad Yadav told her in the house, ‘I know what you are?’ which was followed by a disgusting remark by Assam Congress leader Nilamani Sen who said that everyone knew Irani was PM Modi’s second wife.