CHANDIGARH: Haryana unit chief Naveen Jaihind Tuesday provoked a controversy over the alleged gang rape of a woman in the state, saying he will give Rs 20 lakh to any BJP leader who gets sexually assaulted by 10 people.
Jaihind, the husband of Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal, made the remarks while condemning the BJP government in Haryana for giving only Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the Rewari gang rape victim.
The Aam Aadmi Party leader alleged that BJP government in the state has completely failed on the law and order and women safety front.
The 19-year-old rape victim's family had Saturday decided to return a cheque of Rs 2 lakh handed over to them by officials under the Haryana Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013.
"Is a woman's honours worth Rs 2 lakh?" Jaihind told reporters in Rohtak.
"Be ashamed, chief minister 'sahab'."
"We will give Rs 20 lakh to any BJP leader who gets raped by 10 people. Does woman's honour have a value? (BJP ka koyee neta dus logon say ku-karam karvaye 20 lakh hum denge unko, arrey izzat ki koyee keemat hote hai kya)," he said.
When contacted, the AAP leader said he stands by his comments.
"I stand by what I have said. You cannot disrespect any woman in society. The victim or her family are not asking for money, all they want is justice," he said over the phone.
He said the gang rape incident was very unfortunate.
"But what happened in this case. The victim is made to run from pillar to post to get her complaint registered. Instead of acting against the culprits, the victim is harassed. While the family is demanding justice, you are handing them a cheque of Rs 2 lakh, which they don't want. Isn't it like rubbing salt on their wounds?" Jaihind asked.
"So many crimes against women are taking place in Haryana, but the chief minister has become a 'Dhritarashtra'. The government has completely failed. It is like the Kauravas are ruling the state," he said.
Activists lashed out at Jaihind for making the "insensitive" remarks. Women rights activist Shabnam Hashmi said the comments were "very obnoxious and irresponsible".
"This shows the patriarchal mindset of these leaders who consider women an object," she said.
Annie Raja, National Federation of Indian Women's general secretary, said it is a "criminal opinion".
"He is trying to take political mileage out of the situation. These people do not consider women equal beings. After a few days, they apologise and escape by making such statements," she said.
The 19-year-old woman, a Class 12 topper from Rewari, was abducted from a bus stop in Mahendragarh district Wednesday.
She was allegedly drugged and gang raped in an agricultural field, police had said. Police have arrested three persons, including one of the prime accused, in connection with the incident. Two key accused are on the run.