The Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), on Thursday, demanded that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, explain why it took him 46 years to acknowledge the existence of his wife.

Reacting to news reports that Mr. Modi had for the first time furnished details about his wife in his nomination papers for the Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency, All India Mahila Congress president Shobha Ojha said the manner in which the Gujarat Chief Minister hid the existence of a spouse was reflective of his attitude towards women. While filing nominations for earlier elections, Mr. Modi had always left the column seeking details about his marital status blank.

Questioning the manner in which Mr. Modi sidelined his wife, who, as per a recent interview, never contacted him nor complained about how her marriage turned out, Ms. Ojha said: “If the Gujarat Chief Minister could not keep his marital vows, how can he be trusted to keep the promises he makes to the nation.”

Further, she pointed out that Mr. Modi had time and again underscored his devotion to the nation on the premise that since he had no family, he was wedded to India. “This has now been proved to be a blatant lie,” she said.

The CPI(M) criticised Mr. Modi for not acknowledging his wife for over four decades. Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat wondered: “If Mr. Modi can conceal his marriage, then what else is he concealing?”

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