- Rahul Gandhi made alleged remarks at a rally in Godda, Jharkhand
- BJP demanded Rahul Gandhi's apology in Parliament on Friday
- PM Modi, Amit Shah should apologise for destroying economy, he said
Congress's Rahul Gandhi today reiterated his refusal to apologise for his "Rape in India" comment, insisting that he had only spoken the truth. The comment, made at an election rally in Jharkhand, has triggered a massive political row over the last two days.
It created an uproar in parliament, with BJP leaders demanding that he apologise. The party also formally complained to the Election Commission, seeking action against the Congress leader.
"I was told in Parliament yesterday by the BJP that I should apologise for what I said at a rally. I was asked to apologise for the truth that I spoke," he said.
"My name is not Rahul Savarkar, I am Rahul Gandhi. I will never apologise for speaking truth and nor will any Congressman do so. It is Narendra Modi and his assistant Amit Shah who has to apologise to the country for destroying India's economy," he added in his opening remarks at the party's mega rally in Delhi's Ramlila Maidan this afternoon.
Earlier too, the Congress leader had declared that he would not apologise for his comments.
"Let me clarify what I said. I said the PM keeps talking about 'Make In India'. So when one opens the newspaper one hoped that one would see news about it, but what do we see when we open the papers? We see so many cases of rapes," he told reporters outside parliament on Friday.
"Narendra Modi had said 'Make in India' but nowadays wherever you look, it is 'Rape in India'," he had said.
On Thursday, at a mega rally in Jharkhand, where assembly elections are being held, Rahul Gandhi had targeted the government on crimes against women and said: "Narendra Modi had said 'Make in India' but nowadays wherever you look, it is 'Rape in India'."
It was interpreted as a "call for rape" by BJP leaders, whose protests disrupted the proceedings in both houses of parliament on the penultimate day of the winter session.
"For the first time in history, a leader is giving a call that Indian women should be raped. Is this Rahul Gandhi's message to the people of the country? He should be punished," Union Minister Smriti Irani had said.