The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday lashed out at Janata Dal (United) leader Shivanand Tiwari for comparing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat to Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, and asked the former's party chief, Sharad Yadav, to restrain these highly unwarranted and condemnable utterances.
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said JD (U) General Secretary Shivanand Tiwari has commented in the most undignified, uncharitable and very condemnable manner about certain observations made by the RSS chief.
"On behalf of the BJP, I not only refute, but strongly condemn his completely unwarranted comments. He has compared Mohan Bhagwatji with the MIM MLA Owaisi. What does he mean by this? He has made very uncharitable comments about the RSS. I need to inform him as a Swayamsevak of RSS myself that in the whole RSS ideology and also working, be it the Dalits or adivasi or backwards or women or any sections of society is given the pride of place, their work speaks for themselves," said Prasad.
"And, for him to make this uncharitable comment, is not only regrettable, but highly condemnable. Earlier too, he had made many uncalled for comments. The JD (U) was compelled to clarify that it did not represent the official line of the JD (U). I would appeal to Sharad Yadavji, the national president of the JD (U), to kindly restrain these highly unwarranted and condemnable utterances of Shivanand Tiwari," he added.
Tewari had earlier compared Bhagwat to Owaisi after the RSS chief created a flutter when he said rape is mainly prevalent in urban India due to western influences and that such crimes against women do not happen in rural areas of the country.
RSS chief Bhagwat had earlier on Tuesday criticized the 'western' lifestyle of people in urban areas, and said that without empirical evidence to back such a claim, that rape is prevalent mainly in cities where Indians are deeply influenced by western values and not by rural India.
"You go to villages and forests of the country, and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. Besides, the new legislations, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values," he added, while addressing a citizens' meet in Silchar in Assam.
The RSS chief, however, said that he wanted stringent laws in sexual crimes against women and will favour capital punishment for those convicted of rape.
The BJP later defended Bhagwat's remark that 'rapes occur frequently in India not in Bharat', saying the present controversy is totally uncalled for and unnecessary.
The MIM legislator has been booked for allegedly delivering a hate speech against a particular community. (ANI)