Women activists on Saturday condemned the trade of rape comments exchanged between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rupa Ganguly and West Bengal Power Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, saying that both the leaders are not worthy of holding the position and asked the concerned political parties to take serious cognizance of this incident. “The parties must take serious cognizance of the statement made in such a careless fashion, but they just go to show that these people are not worthy of holding this political office. It’s time they should realise that the citizens have given them power to govern and they cannot use these statement to actually malign women in general,” women activist Brinda Adige told ANI. Adige said that it seems like the only way these political parties can insult the Opposition is to use this heinous crime of rape and is bothered to get above the other.
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“Whether these are political comment made out of anger or made because they want to insult somebody, it just goes to show that they have no respect for the women in our country. No respect, no dignity for the women who are the citizens of the nation,” she said. Another women activist Mamta Sharma slammed both the leaders for their statement and asked them to apologies for their statement. “I think it is not correct for a woman to give such a statement. She could have given any other example and secondly, the minister is responsible for his statement. The way they have used the term rape in political context is incorrect,” Sharma told ANI.
Earlier on Friday, Ganguly said if women are able to survive in Bengal for 15 days without getting raped, she would take back her statement. “I dare all the parties, the ones who keep flattering the West Bengal Government and the Congress, to send their daughters, sisters-in-law, wives to Bengal, without taking any hospitality from Mamata Banerjee. If they are able to survive there for 15 days without getting raped then tell me,” Ganguly told ANI.
Responding to this, state Power Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay asked Ganguly to reveal the number of times she had been raped in West Bengal before portraying a negative picture about the state. “First of all, she should say how many times she has been raped in Bengal. Before accusing anything or anyone, she should reveal this. Then only the truth behind her statement will be realised,” he told ANI. Chattopadhyay said a sane person cannot use such a language about her own state. To this regard, Sinha asserted that the party and its leaders have no right to speak about this, citing the infamous comment made by Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Tapas Paul.
“Tapas Paul openly said he will send people to get women raped. How come Mamata and Sobhandeb remained silent then? Why did they not take any action against him? They have no right to speak, since they are helping rapists and miscreants,” he said. West Bengal seems to have become the centre of chaos and violence, with demand of a separate Gorkhaland by the Gorkhas, giving rise to Darjeeling unrest, and the recent Basirhat violence, where communal clashes broke over a social media post.