New Delhi: Narendra Modi's public acknowledgement that he is married gave Congress an opportunity to heap scorn on him as it questioned how the BJP PM candidate would honour the promises to the nation when he failed even to stand by his wife.
Mahila Congress chief and party spokesperson Shobha Oza today also raked up the snoopgate controversy to target the Gujarat Chief Minister.
"Modiji on one hand gets involved in incidents like snoopgate in which surveillance is carried out on young women. On the other hand, he does not fulfil the duties of a husband and she is not respected."
"How will he fulfil promises to the nation when he could not fulfil promises to his wife with whom he had taken 'saat phere'. He talks of Raj dharma, but he forgots about pati dharma. How can he be a good administrator when he could not become a good husband?", asked Oza, who was flanked by woman leaders of the party.
Oza wondered whether the action of Modi did not amount to atrocity against woman as he kept his wife deprived of her rights for over 40 years.
"How will a person who cannot do justice to his wife respect women in the country and secure their rights?", she said posing the question as to why he did not declare his marital status in his election affidavits in the past.
He also misled the Election Commission by doing it, she alleged.
"The nation wants to know when Modi was married and why this fact was hid from the country? Afterall what was the compulsion that he had to accept and tell the nation. For the last 46 years, Jashodaben was deprived of her social, moral and marital life.
"Is this what Modi calls respect to women? Does it betray his thinking? We all know about snoopgate and how the young woman architect was snooped upon and Modi even then did not answer any question on it," Oza said.
Asked whether the party will take up the cause of Jashodaben, she said that she is doing so by raising the issue at the press conference.
"If there is an opportunity, I would certainly meet her," Oza said when asked whether she would meet her.
The BJP's prime ministerial candidate acknowledged his marriage to Jashodaben for the first time in his affidavit filed along with his nomination papers in Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency yesterday. In the state assembly polls, he had left blank the column about spouse.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh tweeted, "Modi accepts his marital status. Can women of this country trust a man who stalks a woman, deprives his wife of her right? Vote against Modi."
Singh's reference to stalking of a woman is an apparent reference to the surveillance of a woman by the Gujarat police allegedly at the behest of higher ups in the state government.