NEW-DELHI: In the outgoing state Assembly session in Belagavi , Senior Congress leader K R Ramesh Kumar and Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri have sparked controversy after the former made a sexist comment.
Kumar, a former speaker of the House, said to the Speaker, “There’s a saying… when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it. That’s exactly the position into which you are.” Kageri laughed in response.
The Congress leader made the comment as MLAs demanded time from the Speaker to discuss farmers’ issues in the Assembly.
Responding to this, Kageri asked members how he could run the session if time was allotted to everyone. Telling members to take a decision on own, he looked at former speaker Kumar and said, “I feel, let’s enjoy the situation. I can’t keep this under control and take it forward in a systematic way.”
Kumar stood up in response and made the controversial comment. Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri is seen laughing in response.
Later, replying to a tweet about the incident, Kumar apologized and said, “It was not my intention to trivialize or joke about ‘rape!’ My sincerest apologies if I have offended you. But the situation in the House has deteriorated so much that I used that analogy! I will choose my words carefully in the future.”
This is not the first time Kumar, who is also a TV actor, has used such remarks with regard to women.
In February 2019, when he was a speaker, he compared himself to a rape survivor. He made a statement during discussions in the Assembly on the Special Investigation Team probe into an audio clip controversy. The audio clip was reportedly of BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa in a purported conversation to lure a JD(S) MLA in his claimed attempt to topple the then-Congress-JD(S) government. Kumar pointing to repeated reference to charges against him, and said his situation “was like that of a rape victim, as they too are supposedly questioned about the incident repeatedly”.