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Arun Jaitley clarifies 'one small rape' remark, says his speech was misconstrued; Opposition slams his statement

Friday, 22 August 2014 - 1:00pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday clarified his remark calling the Delhi gang-rape 'one small incident'. Arun Jaitley on Thursday, while addressing a conference of state tourism ministers, had said, "As a part of the red carpet glean for the tourists, our law and order - 'one small incident of rape in Delhi' advertised world-over is enough to cost us billions of dollars in terms of lower tourism." 

Even though Jaitley has apologised for his remarks, Nirbhaya's parents and political parties across the country have criticised his statement.

Regretting his words, Jaitley said, “I regret that the speech was misconstrued in certain sections, but it was not my intention. I had spoken at length as to factors which hurt tourism in India and one of factors I mentioned was crime against women. I have spoken on how crime can hurt tourism."

“I had strongly emphasized on crime against women in India. I am sensitive to these issues myself and there is no question of trivialising any incident," Jaitley added.

Watch: Arun Jaitley saying'One Small Incident'

Reacting to Jaitley's remark, Nirbhaya's father said, “What he said was wrong, he has encouraged people who commit such crimes by making such a statement. He is seeing the tourism, an honest citizen lost her life, isn't that a loss to the nation?"

Expressing her disappointment, Nirbhaya's mother said, “Jaitley has made an irresponsible statement and I am deeply disappointed and hurt.”

Political parties across the line also criticised Arun Jaitley for his remark. Congress leader Rashid Alvi said, “If any woman of the nation is raped, it is a disgrace to the nation.”

Terming Jaitley's statement unfortunate, member of National Commission of women Nirmala Sawant said, “The statement made by Jaitley is very unfortunate and shocking and it needs to be condemned at all levels.” 

Congress leader Shoba Oza said, “Jaitley has made an idiotic and horrendous statement and he must apologise to women of the nation.”

Meanwhile, defending Jaitley and his remarks, co-convener of the BJP Communication Cell Priti Gandhi said in a post on Twitter that the media had deliberately twisted his remark.

Also Read: Why do women tourists feel unsafe travelling in India?

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