Sangli, Maharashtra: Senior NCP leader and former Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil has stoked a controversy by trivialising rape when he said an MNS candidate for the Assembly poll jailed for the offence could have waited for elections to get over before committing the crime.
"MNS has fielded a candidate. Today MNS activists met me and said they would back me (in the elections). When I asked them why, they said their candidate is in jail.”
"I asked as to what good act he has done? They told me that a rape case has been registered against him. If he wanted to contest and become an MLA, he should have committed rape after the elections," Patil, not new to controversies, said addressing his supporters at Sangli on Saturday.
Sharply reacting to Patil's remark, BJP leader Shaina NC described the NCP leader as a "big joke".
"After 26/11, he made an insensitive comment suggesting 'small incidents do happen in big cities'. Then, after Shakti Mill compound incident (rape of a woman journalist), he said should I give protection to all journalists."
"Now, in election mode, he is trying to be cocky by suggesting that his counterpart in MNS should have raped after the elections. He has absolutely no conscience and no right to be in public life. He should be voted out on October 15 by the people," she said.
Activist and advocate Abha Singh cited Section 107 (abetment of crime) of IPC to seek registration of a case against the former minister.
"Instigation comes under abetment of an offence. An offence should be registered against R R Patil under Section 107 for inciting people to go and rape women," she said.
As his remark triggered an outrage, Patil went into damage control, saying it was made in a sarcastic vein against MNS candidate Sudhakar Khade, who has a criminal background, and tendered apology if anybody felt hurt.