Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday registered a complaint to the Election Commission (EC) against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on his "Rape in India" remark at a rally in poll-bound Jharkhand. A BJP delegation comprising Irani, Locket Chatterjee, Saroj Pandey, Deboshri Chaudhary and Sonal Mansingh reached the EC office late in the evening.
Targetting the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre over the incidents of rape, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday had said that, "Modi claims 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao'... but from whom to save the girls? Girls have to be protected from BJP MLAs. You might have heard 'Make in India' but it has become 'rape in India'." He was addressing a rally in Godda.
After registering their objection against Gandhi's remark, Irani said, "Today we all came to register our complaint to the Election Commission. The manner in which Rahul Gandhi made the remark, the angry women of the country have raised an objection and we have requested a tough action on that statement. The Election Commission has assured that it will definitely take legal action."
She added, "We had earlier said that such a crime should not be politicised. This is the first time a political leader has used the term. On behalf of the angry families of the country, the women MPs of BJP demanded strict action against Rahul Gandhi. The Election Commission will definitely take action. He tried to use rape as a political tool. I want to ask the people of the country if every son and brother of the country is a rapist? I want to ask is it right to insult like this?"
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Irani had earlier 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? He should be punished." Irani had defeated the Congress leader in his home bastion Amethi in 2019 Lok Sabha election. Other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs also raised slogans against Rahul Gandhi as Smriti Irani tore into Rahul Gandhi over his remark.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said that Rahul Gandhi's statement was condemnable and he should apologise in the House. BJP MP Locket Chatterjee, meanwhile, said that the Congress leader had insulted women.
There was a commotion in the Lok Sabha as BJP members raised slogans seeking apology from Rahul Gandhi.
A similar scenario was witnessed in the Rajya Sabha with BJP members raising slogans of, "Rahul Gandhi maafi maango" (Rahul Gandhi, apologise)." House Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, however, quelled the protests by asking members to not disturb the proceedings."You cannot take the name of a person who is not a member of this House. Nobody has the business to disturb the House," said Naidu. Following the ruckus, both the Houses of the Parliament were adjourned till 12 pm.
Congress' ally DMK's Kanimozhi sided with Rahul Gandhi and defended his remark in the House. "The PM said 'Make in India', which we respect, 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." she said amid pandemonium.