Under fire for his controversial remarks on women and snubbed by his own party, Madhya Pradesh Industries Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Kailash Vijayvargiya on Friday said he had not intended to cause offence.
Embarrassing his party, Vijayvargiya sparked off a controversy as he said that women who cross moral limits, pay the price.
Quoting from the Ramayana, Vijayvargiya said: "Ek hi shabd hai - maryada. Maryada ka ulanghan hota hai, toh Sita-haran ho jata hai. Laxman-rekha har vyakti ki khichi gayi hai. Us Laxman-rekha ko koi bhi par karega, toh Rawan samne baitha hai, woh Sita-haran karke le jayega. (If you cross the moral limits, you will be punished just like Sita was abducted by Ravana)."
Distancing itself from Vijayvargiya's statement, the BJP said the party has asked him to withdraw the comments.
"The BJP distances itself from Kailash Vijayvargiya's remarks...The party has asked him to withdraw his remarks," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said while addressing a press conference here on Friday.
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh also criticised Vijayvargiya for his remarks on women and said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should immediately 'demand his resignation'.
Vijayvargiya's remarks came on a day when Mohan Bagwat, chief of BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said that crimes such as rape "hardly take place in Bharat, but they occur frequently in 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 new legislation, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values," he added.
The comments come at a time when protests continue to churn the nation over the death of a 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped and brutalised with an iron rod on a moving bus in New Delhi last month.
Image: File photo of Kailash Vijayvargiya.