Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that he will not issue an apology over his "rape in India" comment as demanded by the ruling BJP government and alleged that the issue is being raised by the BJP only to deflect the attention of people from protests in the Northeast.
"I will not apologise... I have a clip-on my phone in which Narendra Modi Ji is calling Delhi a 'rape capital', will tweet it so that everyone can see. The main issue is Narendra Modi and Amit Shah set northeast on fire. Just to deflect attention from protests in North East, this is being made an issue by BJP," Gandhi told reporters in Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted the clip in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seen calling Delhi a "rape capital" and saying that it is because of this that India is being defamed at the international level.
Modi should apologise.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 13, 2019
1. For burning the North East.
2. For destroying India’s economy.
3. For this speech, a clip of which I'm attaching. pic.twitter.com/KgPU8dpmrE
Rahul Gandhi also said that the incidents of rape were being reported from different parts of India as the incidents were happening everywhere.
"I had said that Narendra Modi had said there will be 'Make in India'. But ( when ) we look at newspapers today and (we) see 'rape in India'. Rape incidents are happening everywhere", he added.
"In Unnao, BJP MLA raped a woman. The accident of the victim was orchestrated. Narendra Modi did not say anything. Modi spreads violence and now it is everywhere in the country," he said.
Both Houses of Parliament today witnessed uproar as BJP members demanded an apology from the former Congress president.
Earlier, speaking at an election rally in Jharkhand on Thursday, Gandhi had said, "Narendra Modi had said 'Make in India' but nowadays wherever you look, it is 'Rape in India'. In Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Modi's MLA raped a woman, then she met with an accident, but Narendra Modi did not utter a word."
His remarks sparked uproar in the Parliament with BJP MPs attacking Gandhi.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said in the Lower House, "Rahul Gandhi is telling rape in India and it means what? He is asking all the outsiders to come and rape women. Is it right?"
Meanwhile, Union Minister Smriti Irani, who defeated the Congress leader in his home bastion Amethi in 2019 Lok Sabha poll, said: "This is the first time in history that a leader is giving a clarion call that Indian women be raped. Is this Rahul Gandhi's message to the people of the country?"
On the other hand, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor defended Rahul Gandhi's comment saying it is a "very ordinary statement" and there is "absolutely no question" of him apologising for it.
After the BJP raised the issue in both the Houses and stalled the proceedings, he said this was BJP's "tactic" to divert the attention of people from the countrywide protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill due to which the entire North-East is "burning".
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine