Two party leaders in J&K rallies were misled: BJP

The BJP on Friday said that two of its leaders in Jammu and Kashmir who joined the rallies in support of the accused in the rape of a minor were "misled and misguided" by people and accused the Congress of communalising rape incidents.

"The two BJP ministers were misled by a few people," Bharatiya Janata Party MP and spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told the media here.

"When you are in public life, people come to you with their version... So, the lesson to them is not to believe one side or the other and let the law take its course."

She said the two BJP ministers should not have joined the protest. "They should have ideally not commented until an investigation was conducted. The J&K Police conducted a thorough investigation and have arrested the accused."

Lekhi said Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh has also made a statement about the party's stand on the issue.

"The BJP passed a resolution on April 1 condemning the incident of rape. And the BJP's stand is that we condemn any incident of rape or atrocities against women or children."

Asked what action the party would take against its ministers Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, Lekhi said: "What kind of action should we take if someone comes and says that they were misled?

"Is it a crime to get misled?" she asked, adding that the people get misled and this can happen with anyone.

Hitting out at the Congress for communalising the Kathua rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl, Lekhi said: "You see their (Congress) plan, first shout minority minority, then Dalit Dalit, and now women women, and then try to somehow fix blame of state issues on the Centre.

"And all this while ignoring the strict action being taken by the state governments."

Taking a jibe at Congress President Rahul Gandhi's midnight march at India Gate, Lekhi said: "Why there were no candlelight vigils for other rape victims?"

On Thursday, Rahul Gandhi along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, his brother-in-law Robert Vadra and several senior party leaders led a midnight march to India Gate to protest against the Kathua and Uttar Pradesh's Unnao minor rape cases and said: "It's time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to walk the talk on 'beti bachao' (save girl child)."

The BJP leader also accused the opposition of politicising the rape of girls in Kathua and Unnao.

Lekhi said: "In Kathua rape case, a fair probe is going on and strictest action has been demanded against the culprits.

"An SIT (Special Investigation Team) was formed and six-seven persons were arrested. Also, I would like to say it on record that the Jammu Bar Association President (B.S.) Slathiaji was the polling agent of Ghulam Nabi Azadji," Lekhi said.

"On one hand, Salathiaji is demanding justice, while on the other hand, he has called to shut down the high court. Now you all can imagine what kind of dirty politics is being played in the country," she said.

She said that women and children have no religion and that no politics should be done over such issues.

Lekhi said the woman counsel appearing for the Kathua rape victim was being pressurised not to appear in the case.

"This pressure is being built by those who are heading the Bar Council and Bar Associations. This proves what kind of dirty politics is being played in Jammu and Kashmir."

Speaking of the rape incident in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao, Lekhi said: "This is a 10-month-old case. The state government has taken action against the erring doctors and they have been suspended. The government also suspended the Unnao Deputy Superintendent of Police.

"The matter was referred to the CBI by the state government and the CBI has detained the BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar for questioning," she said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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