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If a rape victim has any self-esteem she will end her life, says Kerala Congress chief Mulappally Ramachandran

Mullapally Ramachandran's remarks came during a protest meeting organized by the Congress party to mark the UDF ‘betrayal day'.

Mullapally Ramachandran's remarks came during a protest meeting organized by the Congress party to mark the UDF ‘betrayal day'. On Nov 1, 2020, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullapally Ramachandran sparked a massive controversy through his remarks on rape victims. The Congress leader said that ‘if a rape victim has any self-esteem, she will either end her life by suicide or make sure that she is not sexually assaulted again.’

Ramachandran was speaking at a protest meeting organized by the Congress party to mark the UDF's 'betrayal day.’ He made these comments while criticizing the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) after a woman accused in a solar scam case stated to the police that she had traded sex for getting the imprimatur of the United Democratic Front (UDF) government for her solar project.

According to The Hindu report, Ramachandran said that ‘Every day, this woman would wake up saying she has been raped by someone. The LDF has brought a sex worker as a desperate attempt against the UDF and made her tell tales. Chief Minister, this game will not work; this blackmailing will not work. One can understand when a woman is raped once. But she says she is repeatedly assaulted. A woman with self-respect will either die after she is raped once or will try not to be sexually assaulted again.’

The Congress leader's remarks drew reactions from CPI(M) leader and state Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, the state Women's Commission chief and his party MLA Shanimol Usman, following which he tendered an unconditional apology. He was also booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including outraging the modesty of women.

The solar scam broke out in 2013 during the rule of the United Democratic Front (UDF) government led by the then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The company defrauded several investors of large amounts of money on the false promise of installing solar panels or making them business partners. The names of several ruling-UDF leaders had cropped up in connection with the main accused woman in the case. Ramachandran was seemingly referring to her when he made his statement. When Pinarayi Vijayan came to power in 2016, the alleged victim filed rape complaints against several Congress leaders, including Chandy. The police registered a case and commenced an investigation. The probe has made little headway so far.

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