Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullapally Ramachandran sparked a massive row on Sunday, November 1, when he said: "A woman with self-respect will die if she is raped or else try not to be sexually assaulted again. But every day she is telling she is raped by someone." However, after much uproar, the Congress leader was compelled to apologise.
The leader made the outrageous comment while launching a protest against the United Democratic Front's and seeking the resignation of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
"The LDF has brought a sex worker as a desperate attempt to tell her tales. The CM's blackmailing won't work this time. One can understand when a woman is raped once but she says she is assaulted repeatedly. Nobody will believe her studded lies," he said, bringing up the solar scam case during the Congress regime in order to oppose the criticism against it in the gold smuggling cases.
The reference was made to the solar scam accused Saritha Nair.
The solar scam relates to alleged fraud by Saritha and her second husband along with some staff members of the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's office. Once the scam came to light, Chandy had to dismiss three of his aides and Kerala's public relations director.
After her arrest, she had raised sexual assault charges against many Congress leaders.
Ramachandran offered an apology at the same place after protests erupted, and the ruling CPI(M) and women organisations called out the Congress leader.
State Women Commission president, MC Josephine, said that the leader's remarks were in bad taste and the commission will initiate action against him.
"It shows his mindset. This is not the first time he is speaking against women. We would like to know the Congress president's view about this," KK Shailaja, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Kerala said.