Whilst India votes in the biggest election in history, last minute campaigning by the various political parties and candidates has provided some insight into the type of people that Indians will be voting for.
On Thursday the head of the country’s Socialist Party – set to be an integral part of the ruling coalition which will govern India for the next five years – told an election rally that he was willing to scrap the country’s proposed new anti-rape law because he believed that “rapists should not be hanged”.
Mulayam Singh Yadav – a former Chief Minister of the important state of Uttar Pradesh and once India’s Defence Minister – said that his party would campaign to change current laws relating to rape in India because he said “men make mistakes”.
Yadav’s comments come a week after three men accused of gang raping a Mumbai photographer were sentenced to death under strict new legislation brought in the wake of the Delhi gang rape of 2012.
Yadav also said that his party would support legislation that would bring “legal action” against those who “misuse” the new Rape Act.
Unsurprisingly, his comments brought about a raft of condemnation from all political parties, with one campaigner saying that the statements were “not just against women, it is against Indian society”.