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Anti-rape bill: From Asaram Bapu to nude Konark sculptures, Lalu slams all

Questioning credentials of godmen who are allegedly involved in sex scandals, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad today demanded capital punishment for rapists while supporting the amendments to the anti-rape bill.

"What happened to Damini (actual name not revealed) on 16 December in Delhi is a shame to the country. It was good to see the country united against these heinous crimes against women after this incident was furiously reported in the media. This also forced the political class to act," Prasad said in Lok Sabha. "Politicians and civil society should come forward including saints and godmen for tougher laws to protect women. But thugs like Asaram Bapu should be put behind bars," he said, taking a jibe on MPs, who wear saffron attire to Parliament.

Lalu Prasad. Image courtesy PIB

Lalu Prasad. Image courtesy PIB

The sex-scandal hit godman, Asaram Bapu in a controversial statement had said that the Delhi rape victim was equally at fault because she failed to address her rapists as brothers and did not beg them to stop.

Slamming this remark by the so-called godman, the RJD chief also disapproved of the increasingly liberal culture in urban India.

"In the social gatherings of the rich in the cities, men and women hug to greet each other. Why is the need to do that? I grew up in rural India and even today I fear to shake hands with women," Prasad said amid chuckles by parliamentarians.

While appreciating the steps taken by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress president Sonia Gandhi towards the family of the Delhi rape and murder victim, Prasad said that tougher laws are the call of the hour.

"Even the orthodox Muslim countries have succeeded in giving stricter punishments to those who commit crime against women. We should take a cue from these countries," he said.

Prasad also expressed displeasure in the manner unnatural sex is handled in the country.

"When the Delhi High Court vacated an official order that made unnatural sex a non-cognizable and non-bailable offence we should have all stood up together against it. But we did not do that," he said.

The Bihar MP also had problems with the nude sculptures in Odisha's Konark Temple and asked the government to take steps to cover them.

The RJD chief's speech was not without his usual punch against Janata Dal (United) boss Sharad Yadav.

"The anti-rape bill is not against the average Road Romeo, it is against the habitual ghume wala," he said. Sharad Yadav had made referance to Road Romeos during his speech.