Andhra Congress chief withdraws remarks on Delhi rape

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 24, 2012 15:00 hrs

Hyderabad, Dec 24 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana Monday withdrew his remarks on the Delhi gang-rape incident, following protest by women's organisations.

A couple of hours after making the remarks at a news conference, he hurriedly convened another press conference to apologise if his comments hurt sentiments of women. He clarified that he did not mean any disrespect to women.

Earlier, Satyanarayana, who is also a cabinet minister, had faulted the victim for travelling in the bus late at night. "Just because we got freedom at midnight, can we roam on the roads at midnight," he asked even while condemning the incident and demanding stern action against the guilty.

The Congress leader praised party president Sonia Gandhi for responding quickly to the "small issue". On the ongoing protests in Delhi, he said some people want immediate solution to a serious problem.

Reacting strongly to his remarks, women's organisations and women leaders of YSR Congress party demanded that he immediately withdraw them.

Satyanarayana hurriedly called another press conference to withdraw his remarks. This time, he stated that in an independent country, everybody has a right to roam around at any time during the night. He appealed to women to understand his comments made as a parent.

"I only said that we should be careful but if it has hurt somebody, I apologise and withdraw my words," he said.

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