Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on rape were at the centre of furious protests in the Lok Sabha on the last day of the Winter Session on Friday with leaders of the ruling BJP demanding an apology from him.
Union Minister Smriti Irani, in a reference to Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, said: “This is the first time in history that a leader is giving a clarion call that Indian women should be raped. Is this Rahul Gandhi’s message to the people of the country?” Demanding an apology from Gandhi, the minister said the remarks amount to political mockery and he should be punished.
Irani was referring to Rahul Gandhi’s remarks at a rally in Jharkhand where he said: “Narendra Modi had said ‘Make in India’ but nowadays wherever you look, it is ‘Rape in India’. In Uttar Pradesh Narendra Modi’s MLA raped a woman, then she met with an accident but Narendra Modi did not utter a word.” Gandhi was referring to the Unnao rape case where BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar is an accused.
Responding to demands that he apologise, Gandhi said: “I have a clip in my phone in which Narendra Modi ji is calling Delhi a ‘rape capital’, will tweet it so that everyone can see. Just to deflect attention from protests in North East, this is being made an issue by BJP,” he said.
Modi should apologise.
1. For burning the North East.
2. For destroying India’s economy.
3. For this speech, a clip of which I'm attaching. pic.twitter.com/KgPU8dpmrE
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 13, 2019
As soon as Lok Sabha convened for the day, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said several BJP members had given notices of adjournment against Gandhi’s remarks and they be allowed to speak.
The Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned Friday twice, first for half an hour and then for another 15 minutes amid commotion in the House.
Union Minister Rajnath Singh, who is also the Deputy Leader in the Lower House, said such leaders have no moral right to be members of the House. Gandhi was present in the Lok Sabha at noon.
BJP MP Locket Chatterjee said Gandhi had insulted women by making remarks that ‘Make in India’ had become “rape in India”. She said all men were not rapists.
DMK MP Kanimozhi, however, defended Rahul Gandhi saying, “PM Modi said ‘Make in India’, which we respect, but what is happening in country? That is what Rahul Gandhi intended to say. Unfortunately, Make in India is not happening&women in the country are being raped. This is a concern,”