New Delhi: In the run-up to 2014 general election, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, in a television interview, had said that women empowerment was his goal. In 2019, he ended up making a regressive sexist comment that has infuriated not only the National Commission for Women (NCW), but also the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) led by Aam Admi Party's Swati Maliwal. 

Late Wednesday night, Rahul sent out a tweet asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to 'be a man' and ridiculed him for evading Parliament - leaving a 'woman minister' to defend him. This was an apparent reference to defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who staunchly defended the government on the floor of the House.

The sexist comment wasn’t overlooked and Twitterati had a field day. Union minister Sushma Swaraj called it a "new low" in Indian politics, while Union textile minister Smriti Irani sent out a tweet bearing #MisogynistRahul as the hashtag.

On Thursday morning, the NCW took suo motu cognizance of the matter and sent Rahul a show cause notice. In a strongly-worded letter signed by undersecretary Barnali Shome, the NCW observed, "…the remarks made are extremely misogynistic, offensive, unethical and shows an extreme disrespect towards the dignity and honour of women in general". It went ahead to say, "...the commission strongly condemns such irresponsible and disparaging views of persons holding responsible positions."

According to the notice, the Congress president is required to furnish an 'a satisfactory explanation to the commission'.

If that wasn't enough embarrassment for a party that likes to be seen championing women's rights, the Delhi Commission for Women has taken notice of the comments made by Rahul - in spite of the fact that both the Congress and AAP are exploring options of getting into an electoral alliance in Delhi and Punjab for the upcoming 2019 general election. 

Meanwhile, #BeAMan continued to be the top Twitter trend across India. 

However, Congress doesn't seem convinced and are questioning the institutions as they have often done before.