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Karnataka Home Minister George under fire for his rape remark

BENGALURU: Karnataka Home Minister KJ George on Thursday came under attack from opposition for his controversial remarks that the media highlighted sexual assaults for TRP ratings, even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah sidestepped the issue.

As George waded into controversy, BJP slammed his remarks for shifting the blame on the media and accused him of being ‘irresponsible’ and ‘reacting out of frustration’ and said he should quit if he can’t perform.

“According to me, he is just trying to cover himself up by blaming media. If at all these incidents are coming out, it is because of the media reports and their support,” BJP National Vice-President BS. Yeddyurappa told reporters.

Asked about George’s remarks, Siddaramaiah said, “I don't know. I will discuss with George. I don’t know in what context he made the statement. I will discuss with him.”

Facing heat over increasing sexual assaults of minor girls in schools, George had on Wednesday landed himself in a controversy as he blamed the media for highlighting ‘only such news’ and projecting Bengaluru as a ‘rape city’ to increase TRP ratings.

“What has happened to the media is you want only such news, you are showing only such news to increase your TRP. Show good news, it will be good,” he had said.

Observing that the media has its own role to play, Yeddyurappa said George's response attacking media shows that the government “is helpless and is in panic mode. Home Minister of Karnataka can't react out of frustration when he has utterly failed to perform its duty.”

The ruling Congress is not fit to govern properly, Yeddyurappa said, adding, “I request Home Minister not to utter such things in future. Do your duty, if not possible, quit Home ministership and give it to some other person.”

Former Chief Minister and state senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar said shifting blame on the media was 'completely wrong and irresponsible'.

He also flayed the Chief Minister for his comments on George’s remarks, calling it ‘irresponsible’. Shettar described Siddaramaiah as the ‘most irresponsible Chief Minister I have ever seen’.

George had made the controversial remarks when questioned about a spate of sexual assault incidents in schools here grabbing national headlines with four cases involving minor girls occurring in as many months, evoking public outrage and protests.