Scores of Mahila Congress workers today staged protest against Union Minister Arun Jaitley's "small rape incident" remark and demanded an apology saying he has insulted the entire female fraternity of the country – he was referring to the gruesome Delhi gangrape in moving bus on December 16.
"Arun Jaitley should straight-forwardly accept that he has a wrong mindset and this is what he thought. He should apologise for this and extend his apology to the entire female fraternity of the country for this insult," Mahila Congress Committee president Shobha Oza told reporters.
The Mahila Congress workers tried to march toward Jaitley's 9, Ashoka road residence but were stopped by the police. The protesters raised anti-BJP slogans and also burnt an effigy of the senior BJP leader.
Oza said it was an irresponsible statement by him which would encourage people who were involved in such heinous crimes. We would come down to protest every time such incidents occur.
The Mahila Congress leader accused Jaitley of "trying to distort the issue" now and passing the buck on media for incorrectly interpreting him. "The December 16 gang rape was politicised by the BJP, and now when they are in power rape has become small issue for them," she said.
On the minister defending his case saying his words were construed as insensitive, Oza said a person's thoughts are reflected in his words and this shows his mindset.
The Congress leader also accused the BJP for retaining Nihalchand Meghwal as a minister despite rape charges against him.
"Arun Jaitley should have resigned till now but what can be expected from a government which has a minister (Nihalchand) who continues to hold the post after charges of rape," she said.
Arun Jaitley courted a controversy yesterday after he said at the annual state tourism ministers' conference that "one small incident" of rape in Delhi advertised world over is enough to cost India millions of dollars in terms of global tourism.
The Minister, however, expressed regret over his statement.
"I regret that the statement has been construed or some word that I have used have been construed as insensitive. That was never my intention," he said in his clarification today.