Rahul’s ‘Rape in India’ comment rocks House - GulfToday

Rahul’s ‘Rape in India’ comment rocks House

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Rahul Gandhi. File

Resmi Sivaram

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stood his ground on a comment that India has become a rape country, even as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mounted a vigorous campaign against him.

The opposition saw the BJP move as a bid to cover up the anti-government agitation flaring in the Northeast, but the ruling party on Friday insisted that Rahul need to apologise.

Rahul said at an election rally in Jharkhand on Thursday: “Narendra Modi had said ‘Make in India’ but nowadays wherever you look, it is ‘Rape in India’.”

Modi is the one who has to offer an apology, Rahul retorted to the BJP demand.

“I will never apologise to these people, thank you,” declared the Congress leader.

“It is Modi who should apologise for burning the northeast, for destroying India’s economy and for his speech calling Delhi the rape capital of India.”

“I said Narendra Modi said there will be Make In India, we thought newspapers would have headline with Make In India, but when you open the papers, you only see ‘Rape in India’ everywhere.”

BJP-ruled states are the worst, he pointed out.

“Modi did not say a word. Modi uses violence. There is violence against women, violence in North East, violence in Kashmir.”

“I have a clip on my phone where you can hear Modi calling Delhi ‘rape capital’ I am going to post that on Twitter, everyone can see it. The main agenda is that Modi and Amit Shah have burned North East. They are saying this about me to divert attention,” he said outside parliament.

In Parliament, BJP members including union minister Smriti Irani alleged that his remark implied an invitation to rape women in India and demanded an apology.

“People who make such remarks have no moral right to be member of this house,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said Rahul Gandhi has made a “very ordinary statement” and there is “absolutely no question” of him apologising for it. “There is absolutely no question of Rahul Gandhi apologising... he has made a very ordinary statement on the situation,” Tharoor told the media.

DMK leader Kanimozhi rose to the defence of Rahul Gandhi. “We respect the PM’s Make in India initiative. We want economy to grow. But what is happening in the country? That is what Rahul Gandhi intended to say. Unfortunately, Make in India is not happening and women in the country are being raped. This is a concern,” Kanimozhi said.

Irani also lodged a complaint with the Election Commission.

“Rahul Gandhi dared to make rapes a political tool. We have requested Election Commission to take action,” Irani told the media outside Parliament.

“For the first time a political leader has used rape for political mockery. Politicians who use rape as a political weapon need to be reprimanded with the heaviest punishment. He says all men are rapists.

“Are the people not enraged? He says women should be raped in India. We say Make in India, he says Rape in India. I want to ask the people, is this okay? I leave this over to people to decide his punishment,” she said.

Congress party national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the Narendra Modi-led Central government of diverting the public attention from the “ongoing unrest in the country.”

“You (referring to Modi government) are disrupting Parliament from working in order to divert the public attention anarchy spread in the country. You must know that women of this country want a decisive action against rape,” Surjewala tweeted.

“Rape in India is unacceptable. Listen to your own statement regarding rape. If this (statement) is right then you should apologise first,” he wrote.

The Congress spokeperson also tagged a video in which the Prime Minister was speaking on the same issue that no policy had been made to stop crime against women saying “they made Delhi a rape capital. They have no policy to stop such crimes.”