The National Commission for Women has issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Sadhana Singh and sought explanation for making "extremely offensive and unethical remarks" against Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati.
Singh came under stringent criticism from allies and opposition leaders for calling BSP chief Mayawati a "blot on womankind" and "worse than a transgender".
The Mughalsarai MLA made the controversial remarks at a rally on Saturday while referring to the infamous incident when Mayawati was assaulted by Samajwadi Party workers at a Lucknow guest house in 1995.
Taking suo motu cognisance, the NCW said the remarks made are "extremely offensive, unethical and shows disrespect towards the dignity and respect of women in general".
"The commission strongly condemns such irresponsible and disparaging views of persons holding responsible positions. In view of the above, you are hereby required to provide a satisfactory explanation to the commission on the matter on recept of this notice," NCW Under Secretary Barnali Shome said.
Meanwhile, another UP MLA, Surendra Singh came out in support of Sadhana Singh, saying there was nothing wrong in her remarks.
"There is nothing wrong in what Sadhana Singh said...any person who has zero self-respect is called a transgender," the MLA from Bariya constituency said while talking to reporters in UP's Ballia.
"The manner in which Mayawati has joined hands with the Samajwadi Party after the state guest house case of 1995 goes on to prove that she has no self-respect," he added.
On police complaint against Sadhana Singh, he said, "How will the case be filed...we will protest against it."
Condemning her remarks, Union minister and Republican Party of India president Ramdas Athawale said such personal comments should not be made.
BSP leader S C Misra tweeted, "BJP leaders have lost their mental balance after the BSP-SP tie-up" which, he said, threatened to rock the ruling party's boat.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and the Congress had also denounced Sadhana Singh for using objectionable remarks against Mayawati.