The Congress party lashed out at Mulayam over his remark that three men convicted of gang-raping two women in Mumbai were 'poor fellows' who did not deserve the death sentence.

"It is unfortunate that any leader makes such a statement regarding a crime like rape. Such statements encourage persons involved in such crimes," Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza told reporters.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy accused Mulayam of playing ‘minority politics’ in the backdrop of recent Muzaffarnagar riots in which many women were allegedly raped.

"Mulayam Singh Yadav must have thought of playing minority politics in Nirbhaya case also," he said, adding there was no law which provides for death sentence to juveniles and under the Juvenile Act, they are released in three years for these offences.

Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and social activist Kiran Bedi on her part said this statement is against the society.
“These statements call for total boycott of such a political leader. People should be asked to vote out such people completely,” Bedi said.
"That is exactly the reason when such people in power do not deliver and society as a whole feels insecure,” she added.

Noted social activist Ranjana Kumari demanded Mulayam’s arrest in the light of these remarks.
"Women of the country should not vote for his party whether it is in UP or somewhere else and he should be boycotted as a politician because he not only made these comments but also worked to stop women's reservation bill," she said.
She said the Election Commission should take cognizance of it and an FIR must be lodged against him for making such a statement as ‘calling rape a small mistake is directly encouraging rape’.

Former National Commission for Women chairperson Poornima Advani said, "Public apology is the least. The Election Commission should take up this matter. This is a negative and useless election stunt which is going to hit him hard. And, I am sure he will be voted out."

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