Kolkata: After Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal,a party MLA has sparked controversy with his "insensitive" remark that "as long as the world exists, rape will be there", inviting strong condemnation from women's rights groups and parties with BJP demanding police action against the legislator.
"Rapes were committed earlier, rapes are being committed now. As long as the world exists, rape will be there," TMC MLA Dipak Haldar said at a meeting at Diamond Harbour in neighbouring South 24-Paraganas district yesterday.
Haldar described rape as a "social disease" and said, "We do not support rape. It is not possible for chief minister Mamata Banerjee alone to solve this problem."
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra today condemned the remark by Haldar and said that police action should be initiated against him.
"We condemn such statements when incidents of rape and crime against women are rising in the state. Police action should be initiated against him," Mitra said.
Reacting to Haldar's remark, Congress leader Manish Tewari said it was "extremely unfortunate that such insensitive comments continued to be made".
"The fact is that public representatives need to be not only restrained in their utterances but more importantly need to play a positive role in creating a climate where there is safety for women," Tewari said.
Former NCW chief Mamta Sharma said, "The Chief Minister of Bengal being a woman herself and these recurrent derogatory remarks by TMC men is very unfortunate. The CM has never looked into such issues. These men should be suspended from the party. Mamata Banerjee should take some steps".
Ritabrata Banerjee of the CPI(M) said the statements were in "line with what is happening in TMC itself".
"You cannot expect some action against these leaders," he said.
TMC MP Sugata Bose, however, voiced disapproval of the remark, saying, "All have to try, especially the extent to which violence against women has reached.
Irrespective of party affilitations, we have to stand against it."
He also said, "People's representatives should speak after giving a thought. They should always show decency and respect to women."
TMC MP Tapas Pal had earlier threatened to kill opposition CPI(M) workers and have their women raped if a single ruling party worker was attacked.
The comment triggered an outrage forcing him to tender an apology.