Congress condemns MLA Ramesh Kumar’s remark on rape, says it is 'unacceptable'

MLA Ramesh Kumar has drawn flak for his comment in Assembly, where he is heard saying, “when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it”.
Karnataka Congress MLA Ramesh Kumar
Karnataka Congress MLA Ramesh Kumar
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The Congress has condemned Karnataka MLA Ramesh Kumar’s blatantly sexist remarks at the Assembly session on Thursday, December 16. During the discussions on rain and flood related damages in the Karnataka Assembly on Thursday, many MLAs wanted to speak to highlight the plight of people in their constituencies. Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri found himself in a fix as he wanted to wind up the discussion at the earliest whereas the MLAs were insisting to extend the time.

"I am in a situation where I have to enjoy and say 'yes, yes.' That's it. This is what I feel. I should give up controlling the situation and take the proceedings in a systematic manner, I should tell everyone to continue your talks," Kageri said laughing. He explained that his only grievance is that the business of the house is not happening. Ramesh Kumar intervened and said, "See, there is a saying- when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it. That's exactly the position in which you are." His remarks drew flak from several corners.

Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala condemned the MLAs remarks in the Assembly. "Congress Party disapproves the exchange of highly objectionable & insensitive banter between Karnataka Assembly Speaker & Sr. Congress MLA in the House. Speaker as custodian & Sr legislators are expected to be role models & should desist from such unacceptable behaviour," Randeep Surjewala tweeted.

Ramesh Kumar later apologised for his comment. "I would like to express my sincere apologies to everyone for the indifferent and negligent comment I made in today's assembly about 'Rape!' My intention was not trivialise or make light of the heinous crime, but an off the cuff remark! I will choose my words carefully henceforth!" Ramesh Kumar tweeted.

Ramesh Kumar has earlier come under the scanner for earlier insensitive remarks on rape. When he was the Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly, in 2019, he had said, “My story has become like that of a rape victim. The rape has happened only once. If the rape victim had been quiet, it would have gone away.” He was referring to his name being mentioned in a controversial audio-tape.

(With PTI inputs)

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