Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday called former prime minister Indira Gandhi a model of women empowerment who did not need women’s reservation to prove her mettle and did better than male leaders in the Congress.
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was speaking at the inauguration of an exhibition by women self-help groups (SHGs) in Nagpur on Sunday. Gadkari was not opposed to women's reservation but was against politics based on caste and religion.
"Indira Gandhi proved her mettle in her party among other dedicated male leaders. Was it due to the reservation?" Mr Gadkari asked.
"I am not against women's reservation. Women should get a reservation. I am not opposed to it," he added.
"One makes progress on the basis of knowledge. Do we ask about the religion of Saibaba, Gajanan Maharaj or Sant Tukdoji Maharaj? Have we ever asked about the caste of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar or Jyotiba Phule? I am against politics based on caste and religion," Mr Gadkari said.