A veteran Samajwadi Party leader from Mainpuri, Saturday raked up a controversy after he said that no rapes take place in Uttar Pradesh and and if any such incident happens, it takes place with mutual consent but is adversely highlighted by the media.
“Balatkar eik alag cheez hai. Aap logo ka karam hai…balatkar hota hi nahi hai…swechha sey hota hai (Rape is a different issue. It is (adversely) raised by you (media). Rapes never happen. Whatever occurs, is with mutual consent),” Totaram Yadav, who is serving as chairman of Processing and Construction Cooperative Federation (PACCFED), a state-run co-operative body, said in Mainpuri.
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Totaram, considered close to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav who last year relinquished Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat in favour of Azamgarh after winning both, also defended the Akhilesh Yadav government over rape incidents.
“Dosh sarkaar per hi aata hai, sarakar kaise rok sakti hai? Ladka, ladki ki ichcha sey hota hai (The government is blamed for rape incidents. How can government stop it when it happens with mutual consent of boys and girls?),” he said while talking to reporters outside Mainpuri district jail after meeting an acquaintance lodged there.
Later in the day, Samajwadi Party issued a statement condemning Totaram’s remarks as “highly objectionable and against the dignity of women”. It said the party will take strict action against Totaram and clarified that the leader does not have ministerial status.
Totaram is not the first Samajwadi Party leader to have raked up a controversy with his insensitive comments on rape. Last year in April, Mulayam had sparked an outraged when he opposed capital punishment for rape, saying “ladke, ladke hain. galti ho jati hai (boys will be boys. they commit mistakes).”
“Ladkiyan pehle dosti karti hain. Ladke-ladki mein matbhed ho jata hai. Matbhed hone key baad usey rape ka naam dey deti hain. Ladko sey galti ho jati hai. Kya rape case mein phasi di jayegi? (First girls develop friendship with boys. They when differences occur, they level rape charges. Boys commit mistakes. Will they be hanged for rape?),” Mulayam had said while addressing a rally in Moradabad.