The former chief minister's comment came after the reporter asked if the Opposition had failed in its duty by not making the Congress-led government accountable for such crimes in the state.
"You are a woman, you are here now, if someone drags you and rapes you, we opposition people will be somewhere else. What can we do? You tell me what we need to do, we will do it," Mr Eshwarappa said.
Shortly after his comment, Mr Eshwarappa claimed the news is an attempt to "create confusion".
"I see Karnataka women as my sisters. We ask the state government what they are doing," Mr Eshwarappa told news agency ANI.
Mr Eshwarappa's remark evoked angry reactions from state government leaders with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah saying, "When has KS Eshwarappa ever made a sensible statement?"
Karnataka Law Minister TB Jayachandra said it was an "irresponsible statement" and demanded an apology from Mr Eshwarappa.
Mr Eshwarappa's earlier comment on the subject had also landed him in a controversy when he had asked if Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister KJ George will have "feelings" for victims of sexual assault only if their daughters were "raped".
His remarks in November last year had come after an increasing number of incidents of sexual assault in Bengaluru. Congress had slammed the remarks as "distasteful", while an embarrassed Karnataka BJP distanced itself from the controversy.
Last week, Home Minister KJ George had said if a woman is raped by two men, it cannot be called gang-rape, a comment that was criticised by the Opposition.
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