Against the backdrop of a spate of sex crimes against minor girls in Madhya Pradesh, senior Congress leader Kamal Nath today said MP was becoming a "rape state", drawing a sharp reaction from the ruling BJP.
"Madhya Pradesh is turning into a rape state," Nath, who heads the state Congress unit, told reporters in Bhopal.
Hitting back, BJP vice-president Prabhat Jha accused Nath of "insulting" 7.5 crore people of Madhya Pradesh through his "controversial" statement and demanded an apology.
"(Either) Nath should apologise to the people of the state or Congress president Rahul Gandhi should remove him from the post," Jha told reporters in Indore.
Underlining the need for collaboration between the government and the society to fight such crimes, Jha said politics should not be done over the incidents of rape.
The opposition Congress has been alleging that the law and order situation in Madhya Pradesh, which is under the BJP rule since 2003, has deteriorated with the crimes against women and children witnessing a spurt.
The state is going to polls later this year.
Among the latest incidents of crimes against children, an eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped by two men in Mandsaur district on June 26 who inflicted injuries on her.
Both the accused were arrested.
In Satna district, a four-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 23-year-old man who was known to her family members, on July 1. She was flown to Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on July 3 for better treatment.
The accused has been arrested.
In another incident, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by three minor boys, two of whom are her cousins, in Khajuraho, on the intervening night of July 6 and 7.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)