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Cong slams Jaitley for making light of Delhi rape case


New Delhi: Congress on Friday attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over his "small rape incident" remark terming it a "huge injustice" but also faced uncomfortable questions over its spokesperson Salman Khurshid pleading in a court for bail of rape accused Asaram Bapu a few days back.

"It (December 16 gangrape) was not a small incident but an incident to crush a small hope. Considering it a small incident is a huge injustice to all of us, who identified with her cause and not only the victim or her family members.

"It is not proper that such incidents should not be talked about as it will affect tourism. We should not go assessing monetary losses when we raise such social issues," Khurshid told reporters at the AICC briefing, adding there is "no point in covering up" as the reality has to be faced if there is a problem in the system

Khurshid was referring to Jaitley's remarks made yesterday at the annual state tourism ministers' conference that "one small incident" of rape in Delhi, advertised world over, was enough to cost India millions of dollars in terms of global tourism.

Clarifying his remarks, Jaitley said today,"I regret that the statement has been construed or some word that I have used have been construed as insensitive. That was never my intention."

Khurshid, however, faced a number of questions on why he appeared as a senior counsel for rape accused Asaram Bapu and pleaded for his bail while Congress had attacked the 72-year-old self-styled godman over the rape incident.

Replying to the queries, Khurshid said that his appearance in the case was related to his professional engagements.

"We should not confuse the two issues. One is political party position and the other is a professional position," he said reasoning that while no one endorses a murder, lawyers appear for bail in every case.

"I am not here to answer your questions, which are not related to AICC official briefing... It is something to do with professional engagements...Certain professional commitments are there...," he said in reply to a volley of questions.


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