Renukacharya apologises for remarks linking rape to women’s clothes

M.P. Renukacharya, BJP MLA, on Wednesday found himself in the midst of a controversy after he made insensitive statements related to rape and women’s clothes.

Mr. Renukacharya, who is also political secretary to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, said increase in the number of rape cases were linked to the dressing style of women. The BJP leader, who is in Delhi, made the remarks while criticising Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for her tweet that women should not be harassed over their choice of dress.

Ms. Vadra had tweeted, “Whether it is a bikini, a ghoonghat, a pair of jeans, or a hijab, it is a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear. This right is guaranteed by the Indian constitution. Stop harassing women.”

Taking exception to the reference to bikini, the BJP leader had insinuated that such dresses would “provoke men.” Within a few hours, the BJP leader offered an apology to women over his remarks. “If my remarks have hurt any of my sisters, I would tender an apology,” he said, while maintaining that he never intended to hurt or insult any women. At the same time, he demanded an apology from Ms. Vadra, while insisting that her tweet about bikini was an insult to women.

He alleged that the Congress was trying to defame the BJP Government in Karnataka over the issue of bringing about dress code for PU students. “Congress is trying to defame us at international level,” he alleged.

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