A senior Karnataka BJP leader, who has courted controversy earlier with his remarks on sexual assaults, waded into a fresh row on Saturday by asking a woman journalist what the opposition could do if she was raped.
The comment by KS Eshwarappa, a former deputy chief minister, came when he was asked about the opposition’s alleged inaction over the lack of security in the Congress-ruled state.
“You are here, if someone takes you, rapes you then what can (the) opposition do?” Eshwarappa told the journalist from a local TV channel.
He was speaking to the media at the funeral of a police sub-inspector, who was stabbed to death by unidentified assailants on Friday.
The comment prompted an angry response from Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah who asked, “When has Eshwarappa ever made a sensible statement?”
Earlier, Eshwarappa had left the state shocked by saying that the Karnataka chief minister and home minister would act only “when their own daughters are raped”.
Karnataka BJP leader | See no controversy in telling woman journalist she could also be raped
The remark was made against a backdrop of a spate of sexual assaults in education institutions in Bengaluru.
Shortly after his comment on Saturday, Eshwarappa tried to wriggle out of the tight spot by claiming that the news on the remark was “an attempt to create confusion”.
“I see Karnataka women as my sisters. We ask the state government what they are doing,” Eshwarappa said, adding that the “opposition does all we can for women security.”
However, Eshwarappa is not the only political leader of the state to have faced criticism for such insensitive comments on rape.
Last week, Karnataka home minister KJ George had said that two men raping a woman cannot be termed as gang-rape, a comment which had drawn sharp rebuke from opposition parties and activists.
The National Commission for Women too had issued a notice to him over the comment.
(With inputs from ANI)