Getting personal in an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Monday asked how a man, who had abandoned his “innocent wife” for “political selfishness”, be expected to respect women.

Ms. Mayawati’s strong words came in the context of the rape of a Dalit woman in Alwar, Rajasthan. Mr. Modi had referred to the incident at a rally in Uttar Pradesh and asked Ms. Mayawati why she was still supporting the Congress government in Rajasthan where the incident took place.

“What will he understand the honour of other’s sisters and daughters,” she said. She accused Mr. Modi of playing politics over the rape case.

Ms. Mayawati added that she had come to know that married women in the BJP were apprehensive of letting their husbands go close to Modi, as they feared he might separate them like how he ‘abandoned’ his wife. She appealed women to “not vote for such a person.”

“ Mamata Didi – Democracy has become a casualty in Bengal. Opposition workers are murdered, candidates are attacked, polling booths are captured and Opposition leaders are not entitled to organise rallies,” he said, adding that “Behan Mayawati” was “unfit for public live”.

“She is firm on becoming a Prime Minister. Her governance, ethics and discourse stoops to an all-time low. Her personal attack today on the Prime Minister exposes her as unfit for public life,” he tweeted.