Hoshiarpur rape-murder case: BJP questions Cong leaders’ 'silence'; Capt Amarinder terms it 'political puffery'

The party questions RJD leaders sharing stage and campaigning in Bihar with those who are committing atrocities on Bihar’s daughter

Mukesh Ranjan

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24

Turning table on the Congress for its tirade against the BJP government, led by Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh, over the Hathras rape-murder incident, the BJP on Saturday made scathing attacks on the Congress for its leaders’ stoic silence over rape and murder of the minor daughter of a migrant Bihari worker in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district.

Even as Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was quick to order a swift inquiry into the ghastly incident, the BJP fielded its senior leader and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to hit at Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, as she claimed that the brother-sister duo did “selective politics” over rape by putting a “blind eye” when it came to their party-ruled state and did “picnic tour” in other places.

Also read: BJP attacks Congress over 'rape-and-murder' of six-year-old girl in Punjab

Capt Amarinder trashes BJP’s criticism of Hoshiarpur rape-murder case as ‘political puffery’

Sitharaman said: “At the outset, I will say that the BJP neither believes nor does politics over sad and painful incidents of rape. We, as a party, always want to see justice is delivered to victims as quickly as possible. But given the situation, the silence on the part of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, or for that matter all 35 MPs, who wanted to go for a ‘picnic tour to Hathras’ has forced us to ask them why are not they speaking on the Hoshiarpur incident.”

The BJP leader, with an eye on the ongoing Bihar polls, said Rahul Gandhi, who addressed public rallies in the state along with RJD’s Tejaswi Yadav, did not speak a word about the rape and murder of a minor daughter of a Bihari migrant worker.

Echoing Sitharaman, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said: “The incident of rape and murder of the 6-year-old Dalit girl (from Bihar) in Hoshiarpur is very shocking. We demand strict action against the culprits. Instead of going on political tours, Rahul Gandhi should visit Tanda (Punjab) and Rajasthan to take cognisance of incidents of crime against women.”

Targeting RJD leader, Javadekar said: “Tejashwi Yadav is sharing the stage and campaigning with the people who are committing atrocities on Bihar’s daughter. How will it go?”

Capt Amarinder trashes BJP’s criticism

Meanwhile, trashing the BJP senior leadership’s attack on his government, the Punjab CM on Saturday termed the remarks of Sitharaman and Javadekar as “political puffery”, with no substance or basis to support their criticism, a press release by the state government said.

Contrary to what these leaders were claiming, there was no comparison between the Hoshiarpur and the Hathras cases, said Captain Amarinder, pointing out in the latter instance, the Uttar Pradesh government and the police did not only fail to initiate stern action but in fact, was seemingly trying to cover up the matter to benefit the upper-caste accused.

“This,” he said, “was in sharp contrast to the prompt action taken by the Punjab Police, who immediately arrested the accused and were now preparing to file the challan within a week.”

 “I had directed the DGP to ensure that the case is fast-tracked by the courts to ensure strict and exemplary action for the accused,” added the Chief Minister.

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