Sorry after controversy: NCP leader RR Patil apologises for 'rape after elections' remark

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Mumbai, Oct 12: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader RR Patil, who stoked a controversy on Saturday by making a sexist remark, during an election rally in Sangli district of Maharshtra, tendered his apology few minutes after sparking the outrage.

Shortly, thereafter, an apologetic Patil said he regretted the faux pas and that his statement was unintended.

[Full Coverage: Maharashtra assembly elections 2014]

"I was criticizing the candidate ... I had no intention to offend womenfolk and I apologize if anybody's sentiments are hurt," he said.

The MNS activists confessed that their official candidate was behind bars allegedly for involvement in a rape case.

"Oh! If he wanted to be elected legislator from this area, he could have at least waited till the elections and then raped ..." Patil blurted out.

Later, the normally soft-spoken and measured Patil sought to defend himself saying the MNS candidate had been booked a few years ago in another alleged rape offence, but it failed to cut ice with many.

Patil's controversial remarks led to a fury of reactions from the opposition political parties and social activists, who termed it "as an insult to women" of the state.

Raj Thackeray hits back at RR Patil

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday attacked NCP leader RR Patil for his controversial comment on the criminal background of an MNS candidate who is in the poll fray against Patil in the latter's home turf.

"Earlier, he (MNS candidate Sudhakar Khade) was booked in a rape case in 2007, but was later acquitted by court. NCP leaders have a tendency to make such vulgar comments," Raj told an election rally in Cidco area of Nashik on Saturday night.

Patil- Not new to controversial statements

However, Patil is not new to controversies. In past, too, he has made many irresponsible remarks publicly.

Earlier this year, he had said that crime against women cannot be prevented even if guards were provided in every single household. He had, however, retracted from the controversial statement later.

Five years ago, after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, Patil had raised hackles when he said: "Aise bade bade shehron me, chhote chhote haadse hote rehte hain..." (In big towns like Mumbai such small incidents keep on happening) before he apologized.

In April 2013, another NCP leader and ex-deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, following drought-hit farmers' demand for water, had said: "What can I do if there is no water in the dams? Should I urinate to fill up the dams? Without water, even urine is not coming..."

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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