Bengaluru: Senior BJP leader K S Eshwarappa today found himself in the eye of a storm over his poser to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister K J George whether they will have feelings for victims of sexual assault in the state only if their daughters are "raped".
Eshwarappa's "distasteful" remarks against the backdrop of growing incidents of sexual assault sparked strong condemnation from Siddaramaiah, who has only two sons, while an embarassed BJP Karnataka unit distanced itself from the controversy.
Condemning the remarks, Congress workers staged protests in front of his home in Bengaluru and Shivamogga, before they were whisked away by police.
"...When there is outburst across the state, one says you (media) are doing it for TRP, other says he will examine why such comment was made; ... that is why I said will they understand about it only if Siddaramaiah's daughter is raped and George's daughter is raped," Eshwarappa, who is prone to make controversial comments, said.
"Why I'm saying this is because, they both are like my sisters, I too have sister. I don't want them to get raped. But what I'm saying is, will they feel about it (rapes) only when their daughters are raped," Eshwarappa, the opposition leader in the Legislative Council, told reporters here.
Describing the remarks as "cheap", Siddaramaiah said those who are cultured and civilised would not speak in that manner. As leader of the opposition, he should speak in a manner that befits his position, the Chief Minister said.
Congress MP and spokesman Rajiv Gowda slammed Eshwarappa's remarks as "distasteful", saying it should be condemned in "full measure."
BJP Karnataka unit chief Prahlad Joshi distanced the party from Eshwarappa's remarks and said he would advise him against making such comments. He should not have made such remarks, he said in New Delhi.