Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], March 10 (ANI): Rajasthan Minister Shanti Kumar Dhariwal drew sharp criticism after he claimed that the state is ranked number one for reporting the maximum number of rape cases.
Speaking in Rajasthan Assembly today, Dhariwal said, "...We are number 1 when it comes to rape cases. Why is it so?... Rajasthan has been a land of men. What we can do about it?..."
Soon after these comments drew criticism on social media, Rajasthan Minister SK Dhariwal said to ANI, "I have always respected women and encouraged them to participate in everything. It was a slip of tongue. I wanted to say 'iss pradesh mein ye marz kahan se aa gaya' but ended up saying 'ye mardon ka pradesh hai'. I'll apologise in the House."
As Dhariwal made this comment, some MLAs sitting in the Assembly could be seen chuckling in a video. It was shared by the BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla on Twitter as well.
Shanti Dhariwal's rape comment sparked controversy with the Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia, spokesperson Shehzad and National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma condemning the minister.
Rekha Sharma tweeted, "Rajasthan government has ministers like these, that's why women of the state are suffering gruesome gender crimes and police just don't do anything. How will women of the state feel safe if it has ministers like these? NCW India is taking strong action against Mr. Dhariwal."
Poonia asked Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to look into the matter and urged her to speak up on the issue.
Poonia tweeted in Hindi, "The shameless confession of being number one in rape in the state and the level-headed statement towards women as men is not only an insult to the women of the state but has also brought down the dignity of men. @priyankagandhi What will you say now, what will you do?."
The Budget session of the Rajasthan Assembly began on February 9 with an address by Governor Kalraj Mishra. (ANI)