Bengaluru: In an irresponsible remark, a Karnataka minister on Wednesday blamed the media for highlighting rape cases in Bengaluru.
Facing heat over increasing sexual assaults of minor girls in schools, Karnataka Home Minister KJ George stoked a controversy when he said media wanted to project Bengaluru as "a rape city" to increase TRPs.
"What has happened to the media is you want only such news, you are showing only such news to increase your TRP. Show good news, it will be good," George told reporters here.
Commenting on George's remark, BS Yeddyurappa, Shivamogga MP and national vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, said the Karnataka Home Minister should clarify his comment.
Observing that the media has its own role to play, Yeddyurappa said George's response attacking media shows that the government "is helpless and is in panic mode. Home Minister of Karnataka can't react out of frustration when he has utterly failed to perform its duty."
The ruling Congress is not fit to govern properly, Yeddyurappa said, adding, "I request Home Minister not to utter such things in future. Do your duty, if not possible, quit Home Ministership and give it to some other person."
Former chief minister and state senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar said shifting blame on the media was "completely wrong and irresponsible".
He also flayed the Chief Minister for his comments on George's remarks, calling it "irresponsible". Shettar described Siddaramaiah as the "most irresponsible Chief Minister I have ever seen."
George's remarks came when questioned about a spate of sexual assault incidents in schools here grabbing national headlines with four cases involving minor girls occurring in as many months, evoking public outrage and protests.
Asked if he wants the media to refrain from publishing such news, he said: "I'm responding to your question- that such news has grabbed national headlines...."
"I have told in detail several times that after Nirbhaya case Section 376 (relating to rape) has got a wider definition, and the incidents happening within the school premises should be stopped by school managements. When complaints have come we have acted."
"Projecting Bengaluru as rape city and putting people of Karnataka in a bad light, we have objections to it," he said, as the government came under fire over the recurrence of sexual assaults on minor girls in schools.
In July, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had courted a controversy over the alleged rape of a six-year-old girl in a city private school, as he asked the media if it did not have any other issue.
"Except that, don't you have any other issue? Is this the only news you have?" Siddaramaiah had snapped back at reporters who sought to know the latest on the case that had evoked public outrage and drawn criticism of his government for not acting swiftly.
(With PTI inputs)