MUMBAI: Former Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil on Saturday landed in a controversy by saying, “if the candidate wanted to become a legislator, he should have waited till the elections and then raped.” He was speaking at an election rally in Sangli. He referred to allegations of rape against a rival candidate from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
Some MNS workers had extended support to Patil for the Assembly election on October 15. He asked them the reason for their sudden generosity, barely days before the poll.
The MNS activists confessed that their official candidate was behind bars allegedly for involvement in a rape case.
“Oh! If he wanted to be elected legislator from this area, he could have at least waited till the election and then raped,” Patil blurted out.
The senior NCP leader’s statement created uproar as political parties and social activists termed it ‘an insult to women’ of the state.
Sharply reacting to Patil’s remark, BJP leader Shaina NC described the NCP leader as a “big joke”. “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.
Sensing the trouble, Patil apologised and regretted for the faux pas. He claimed that his statement was unintended. “I was criticising the candidate. I had no intention to offend women and I apologise if anybody’s sentiments are hurt,” he said.