BJP says two ministers who supported the Kathua rape accused ‘were misled by a few people’

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The Bhartiya Janata Party on Friday said that two of its leaders Chander Prakash Ganga and Chowdhary Lal Singh who rallied in support of the accused in Kathua rape and murder case, were ‘misled and misguided by a few people.’

“The two BJP ministers were misled by a few people,” Bharatiya Janata Party MP and spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told media in New Delhi.

“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.”

Ganga and Singh, who both are cabinet ministers of JK, had addressed a rally in Kathua which was in support of the accused in the brutal rape and murder of the eight year old nomad girl.

Lekhi 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.

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“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.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party National Conference has said that they will consider a civil disobedience movement against the government if they fail to take action against the ‘erring ministers’.

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Moreover, the former chief minister Omar Abdullah also told CM Mehbooba Mufti to sack the two ministers the way she sacked former Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu.

The BJP has blamed Congress for ‘communalising’ the case.

“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?”

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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.

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