Mulayam Singh's remarks show that how much respect he has for women in his heart, and how irresponsible he is towards women's security," Congress leader Meem Afzal said.
Afzal said that the government in Uttar Pradesh is running under the guidance of Mulayam Singh and such comments could send a wrong message among young boys across the state.
"Mulayam Singh should immediately take back his works and apologise," the Congress leader said. Questioning the death sentence to three men who were convicted for two gangrapes in Mumbai last week, Mulayam Singh had yesterday asked, "Should rape cases be punished with hanging? "Ladke, ladke hain. Galti ho jati hai (Boys are boys. Mistakes happen sometimes)," he told an election rally in Moradabad.
Reacting to his comments, BJP came down heavily on the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister with party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi saying that the remarks were "very shameful" and that he should apologise. The SP leader "has done politics on a sensitive issue. The country will never accept such an attitude of leaders," Naqvi said.
On the SP supremo's comments that there was a need to change the new anti-rape law so that those misusing it are punished, another BJP leader Smriti Irani, "Mulayam Singh is not going to form the government at the Centre at any cost.
"If he wants to help any of the persons (rapists), he cannot now do such a thing as Congress has started preparation to sit in the opposition. "I want to say to Mulayam Singh that women like me would strongly oppose (any amendment in the anti-rape law) and we would never let this happen," Irani, the BJP candidate for Lok Sabha polls in Amethi, said.