Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar apologises to women candidates; regrets comment in session
"A woman will say that she was raped only once in reality, but she was raped multiple times in court during cross-examination. My situation is like that here," Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar said.
Bengaluru: On Wednesday, Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar expressed disappointment for his remarks where he compared his situation to that of a "rape victim" during a discussion on the controversial audio clip.
"My remarks were not intended to hurt or insult anyone, and I have the utmost respect for women," Kumar told the Assembly.
Kumar's apology came after women legislators in the House from the Congress and the JD(S), including Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, Anjali Nimbalkar, Laxmi Hebbalkar and few others forced the Speaker to withdraw his comments.
The Speaker, on Tuesday, compared his situation to that of a "rape victim" who had to withstand repeated questioning because his name was mentioned in the audio tape.
"A woman will say that she was raped only once in reality, but she was raped multiple times in court during cross-examination. My situation is like that here," Kumar said during a debate on the audio tape in the House.
The comment brought them discomfort and should not have been made, the women legislators said in a letter to the Speaker earlier in the day.
In the clip, BJP leader Yeddyurappa allegedly mentioned the Speaker's name while in conversation with JD(S) MLA Naganagouda Kandakur's son, Sharanagouda, on February 7.
Playing the clip to the media here on February 8, Kumaraswamy and Sharanagouda alleged that Yeddyurappa agreed to pay an unspecified amount if Kandakur left the JD(S) and joined the BJP.
Sharanagouda also claimed Yeddyurappa told him that the Speaker could be managed by paying Rs 50 crore for not invoking the anti-defection law against Kandakur in the event of his defection to the BJP.
Terming the reference to him in the audio tape as disrespectful to the post of Speaker, Kumar said he was pained by his name being mentioned in the episode.