BJP's Vinay Katiyar and Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) have courted controversy with 'sexist' remarks on women, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, ahead of the upcoming assembly election in five states.
The comments by both the leaders were criticised by major political parties including the BJP and the Congress.
The National Commission for Women too took a cognizance and sought a reply from Yadav within 24 hours.
Stoking a controversy, Vinay Katiyar said there were "more beautiful women star campaigners than Priyanka Gandhi" in his party.
The remark provoked a sharp response from Priyanka who said his remarks exposed the saffron party's mindset towards women.
Congress also took umbrage against Katiyar and demanded an apology for "insulting Indian womanhood".
Katiyar's party BJP too distanced itself from his statement that nobody is expected to make personal comments on women and the party does not approve it and it was "unacceptable".
On the other hand, senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav landed himself in controversy with remarks that a "vote's prestige is bigger than that of a daughter".
The former JD(U) chief made the remarks at a function to emphasise the importance of votes.
"The importance of the ballot paper has to be told to everyone and everywhere ... vote's prestige is bigger than the prestige of a daughter. If daughter's prestige is compromised, it will only affect a village and an area but if the vote's prestige is compromised or sold then it impacts the entire nation and the province," he said.
Reacting on Yadav's controversial statement, JD(U) national general secretary KC Tyagi said on Wednesday it has been taken wrongly.
"We Samajwadis have been of the view that daughter and vote are to be be given to superior person. If daughter is married to a wrong person, then only one family is destroyed but if vote is given to wrong person then it destroys entire nation ... This is not at all a sexist remark. "We are sorry if it (Sharad's statement) has hurt the sentiments of any section of the society," Tyagi said.
(With inputs from PTI)