New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani today tore into Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over his “Rape in India” comment at a rally in Jharkhand on Thursday. “This is for 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? He should be punished,” Ms Irani said in the Lok Sabha today, minutes before it was adjourned till noon.
BJP MPs raised slogans against Mr Gandhi as Ms Irani continued her attacks on the Congress MP.
“Not all men are rapists. This is an insult to India… Rahul Gandhi is touching 50, and doesn’t realise that such a statement seems like an invitation to rape in India,” she added.
“Rahul Gandhi has insulted every woman in India by saying what he has said,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said.
Taking a swipe at the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over rising crime against women in the country, Mr Gandhi had remarked, “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.”
Narendra Modi says ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ but he never told from whom should daughters be saved. They should be saved from BJP’s MLA,” Mr Gandhi said, referring to the programme run by the government that seeks to empower the girl child and encourage parents to educate them.
The war of words over crime against women came after recent cases that have angered the country.
A young veterinarian was raped and her body was burnt on a highway near Hyderabad by four men. The accused were shot dead by the Telangana Police, who said they tried to run away when they were brought to the crime scene for a reconstruction as part of the investigation.
In Uttar Pradesh, a woman from Unnao was set on fire by five men – two of them who were accused of raping her – when she was on her way to a court for a hearing in the rape case.