A full-scale war of words broke out on Sunday between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BSP supremo Mayawati over the Alwar gangrape, with the PM accusing the BSP chief of “shedding crocodile tears”, a charge that was trashed by her as his “dirty politics”.
Addressing election rallies in Kushinagar and Deoria in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Mr Modi mounted a scathing attack on the BSP supremo and dared her to withdraw support to the Congress government in Rajasthan led by Ashok Gehlot if she was really serious about the incident.
Hours after his remark, Ms Mayawati charged the PM with playing “dirty politics” over the gangrape of a dalit girl in Alwar and demanded his resignation for incidents of dalit atrocities in the past.
“In the wake of this (Alwar) incident, Modi is doing dirty politics. The BSP will for sure take an appropriate political decision in the absence of stringent and proper legal action in the case,” Ms Mayawati said in a press note responding to the Prime Minister’s challenge to her to withdraw support to the Congress government in Rajasthan.
The Congress government in Rajasthan has been accused by both the PM and the BSP supremo of brushing the case aside for political gains. After Mr Modi’s barb, Ms Mayawati retorted with a list of incidents on which she said the Prime Minister should take moral responsibility and resign from his post.
“The BSP will take a required political decision soon, but why is PM Modi not taking moral responsibility for the incidents in the past, such as the Una flogging incident, the Rohit Vemulla case or other cases of dalit atrocities? Why is he not resigning?” the BSP press note issued in Lucknow said.
On April 26, the gangrape victim was travelling with her husband on a motorcycle when the accused stopped them and took them to an isolated place off the road. They allegedly beat the husband and raped her in front of him, threatening them with dire consequences. Her husband claimed that he had approached the Rajasthan police on April 26 after the incident, but an FIR was filed only on May 2. He had alleged the police did not take action, saying they were busy with the elections.
Addressing election meetings in Kushinagar and Deoria in eastern UP, the PM said: “Please do not shed crocodile tears. If you are serious, why don’t you withdraw support to the Congress government in Rajasthan?”
Expressing concern over the gangrape, Ms Mayawati had on Saturday alleged the Congress government in Rajasthan did not let the matter come to anyone’s notice by “terrorising” the victim’s family. “Under these circumstances, the victim and her family will not be able to get proper justice. The BSP appeals to the Supreme Court to take notice for ensuring prompt justice and strict punishment to the accused,” she said.