A day after Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav defended boys and called for scrapping death in rape cases, the National Commission for Women sent him a notice for his sexist comments.
The Congress and CPM also condemned Mulayam’s statement over rape that “boys make mistakes, why hang them” and he would “change” the new anti-rape law if he becomes PM.
Confirming a notice had been sent, the NCW chief Mamta Sharma, told The Indian Express, “He must explain how he could make this outrageous remark. How can he say that he will change the rape laws when he becomes the PM? Kanoon janta badalti hai, pradhan mantri nahin. (The law is changed by the public; not PM).”
Meanwhile, the UP BJP said that it would move the Election Commission to stop Mulayam from contesting Lok Sabha elections. The state BJP president, Laxmi-kant Bajpai, said Mulayam has insulted women and his statement was creating a sense of insecurity among women.
Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said, “It (remarks) was completely unfortunate and unwarranted.”
Congress leader Meem Afzal said, “Mulayam’s remarks show how …. irresponsible he is towards women’ s security,” and added he should “immediately apologise”.
The CPM too expressed “shock” at the remarks. Politburo member Brinda Karat, in a statement, said, “One may oppose the death penalty for rape offenders, but to trivialise rape as a small mistake … is most shocking and condemnable.”
On Friday, Mulayam blamed the media for distorting his statement and painting him as “anti-women”. In an attempt at damage control, he said he wanted the strictest punishment for rapists but still stands that hanging should not be done as it leads to misuse of the law. In a statement, he said, “Media tried to malign my image but I will not take back my words.” He added, “I want to tell that SP has always given respect to women and taken care of their pride.”
SP leaders however, remained tight lipped over his statement. “How can I comment on Netaji (Mulayam’s ) statement,” Naresh Aggrawal, Rajya Sabha MP and national general secretary said. Other leaders like Ramgopal Yadav and Shivpal Yadav also did not comment over the issue.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.