The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government might have announced about taking stern action against the accused responsible for Unnao gang-rape incident, but the saffron party has always been known for shielding leaders with criminal antecedents. Already, the UP Governor Ram Naik had given his nod to withdraw 20,000 politically motivated cases filed against several politicians including Yogi Adityanath. The UP government has offered solace to BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the accused responsible for raping the 16-year-old girl in June 2017 by recommending his case to the CBI instead of arresting him.
Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said that Yogi Adityanath government has not handled the administration properly. He said, “Law is equal for everyone. Dalits, Muslims and minorities are feeling insecure under BJP government’s reign.”
“BJP had promised to work for the welfare of people but they are implementing their hidden agenda. They are trying to protect accused leaders. Yogi Adityanath and Narendra Modi don’t have any right to run the government anymore,” he added.
On March 22, the Yogi Adityanath government also initiated a process for withdrawing of all 131 cases including 13 of murder and 11 of attempt to murder in both Muzaffarnagar and Shamli. Cases were filed against UP Minister Suresh Rana, former Union minister Sanjeev Balyan, MP Bhartendu Singh, MLA Umesh Malik and party leader Sadhvi Prachi. The UP government has also taken a decision to withdraw rape and kidnapping cases against former Union minister Swami Chinmayananda.
NCP leader Vidya Chavan said that CBI is working as per the instruction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. She said, “How shall we expect good governance from leaders who are themselves responsible for Gujarat riots, rapes and molestation incidents? People have committed a mistake by voting for BJP in 2014. Yogi Adityanath government is trying to indulge in the saffronisation of UP but I doubt he knows the meaning of the saffron colour.”
Thus, political leaders from BJP roam scot-free after committing crimes as no action is taken against them and they are offered political patronage. What message is the government trying to send across by shielding accused leaders? If this scenario continues, then people will lose faith in the political system as they directly elect leaders by exercising their franchise.
BJP spokesperson Shirish Boralkar said, “I don’t think the government is trying to safeguard the accused. We should respect the judicial system and nobody can escape the law. However, in such cases, the accused is not arrested until he is proved guilty.”
“With an eye on the election, political parties might try to defame BJP for deriving political mileage. I hope justice will be delivered to the victim,” he added.
BJP legislator Surendra Singh came forward in defence of Sengar and said that conspiracy was hatched to defame him. He said, “It was impossible to rape a mother of three children. Yes, maybe her father was thrashed by some people but I refuse to believe rape charge.”
Shiv Sena spokesperson Dr. Manisha Kayande said, “Sometimes rape incidents get politicised and a communal colour is given to it but no one thinks about the victim. BJP is trying to shield their leaders. Such cases must be handed over to the CBI and it must be thoroughly investigated and strict action must be taken against the accused.”
Opposition parties attacked the BJP government and said that women are feeling unsafe under its rule. The Congress Party criticised the BJP over the rape incident and said that ‘justice for women in BJP ruled states has become a mirage because BJP’s eco-system is influencing the legal process by building a false narrative’. All India Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev said most of the rape incidents were reported in BJP ruled states. Thus, a question arises that, is the BJP government not bothered about the security of women?
Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court directed the CBI to arrest Sengar and asked the agency to file the status report by May 2. The victim’s father was arrested and he lost his life in the police custody.