Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil today said he was misquoted by the media while reporting his speech, and a message should not go out to the women in the state that the Home Minister was "helpless" to protect them. "I never said 'even if a policeman was posted at every home, the rapes will still continue'," Patil said in the Legislative Council.
Earlier, Assembly Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil said he had examined the footage of proceedings yesterday and found that the minister had not made the statement in question. "Just because I appealed to people to help the victim of crime against women, does it mean that I am helpless?" Patil said in the Uppper House today.
Patil said he feel it dangerous if a message goes to crores of women in the state that their Home Minister was helpless and cannot protect them. "Let any of your (BJP-ruled states') Home Minister say that there is no crime in his state. I am ready to make him the Home Minister of this state," Patil said. "We have seen the video clippings of my speech yesterday. What I said has nothing to do with what has been published (in media) today," Patil said. "If I have committed any mistake I will apologise to the people of the state and relinquish all posts. However, if there is no mistake on my part, I will not accept a wrong criticism," he said.
The NCP minister alleged it was possible that those affected by the government unearthing of the naphtha scam worth thousands of crores of rupees might be creating hindrance for him. "The safety of women is the first responsibility of the state government and police, and our police department is capable enough to carry it out," Patil said. "I was pained after the remarks which I didn't make were published," Patil said.
Indicating that he may not pursue the privilege notice against Leader of Opposition Vinod Tawde (BJP) on the issue of misquoting his speech, the Home Minister said: "Let this be a closed chapter."
Council Chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh said: "I expect that media reports only what has been said in the House. "Media should understand its responsibility. If something is distorted it can have consequences, as we are seeing in this case," said Deputy Chairman Vasant Davkhare.
Patil is a responsible leader and the entire state looks up to him, he said.
NCP MLC Vidya Chavan alleged that it was the opposition which gave a wrong information to the media.