The intense debate on increasing rape cases in the Karnataka capital reached a new low on Saturday with a Congress MLA targeting a BJP leader’s wife in yet another blatantly sexist view.
“What will happen if I rape (BJP leader) KS Eshwarappa’s wife?” senior Congress leader Ivan D’Souza said in Mangalore, dragging the vicious war of words a couple of notches lower.
D’Souza made the statement during a press conference which was, incidentally, called to condemn a similar statement by Eshwarappa the previous day.
Eshwarappa was censured by his party for saying that “if the daughter of (chief minister) Siddaramaiah or (home minister) KJ George are raped, they will still remain silent”.
Eshwarappa’s remark, made at a press conference in Bengaluru on Friday, had sparked protests by youth Congress activists.
Bengaluru has been rocked by a series of sexual assaults in the past few months, specially the highly-publicised assaults on minors in schools.
The latest incident of assault on a minor, the seventh since July, was reported to police on Monday.
With the BJP holding a series of agitations over the government’s failure to curb school rapes, under-fire home minister KJ George accused the media of being “sensationalist” and the reportage aimed at garnering TRPs by TV channels.
If D’Souza and Eshwarappa’s comments were not bad enough, another senior Congress leader VS Ugrappa questioned the marital status of BJP MP and former minister Shobha Karandlaje who has been attacking the government over its failure to contain sexual violence.
“Ms Karandlaje should not make irresponsible statements. Actually, I am not sure if she is Ms or Mrs,” Ugrappa said of the senior-most woman leader of the Karnataka BJP who is also a spinster.
Karnataka PCC president G Parameshwara was quick to condemn the statements of his party colleagues and promised disciplinary action against D’Souza and Ugrappa.