Rape accused BJP leader Sengar's photo published on I-Day advertisement
Kuldeep Singh Sengar may have been expelled from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but that didn't stop a local party leader from giving him a prime spot in an advertisement, meant to wish Independence Day. The full-page ad, which was taken out in Unnao edition of leading Hindi newspaper Hindustan, also featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Who is Sengar and what charges does he face?
Sengar, a prominent politician of Unnao, allegedly raped a minor in 2017. The case came to light after the victim attempted to alight herself outside Adityanath's resident in April 2018. Apart from rape, Sengar is also accused of plotting the victim's father's murder, who died in police custody. CBI is investigating the matter and earlier this week, a Delhi court charged Sengar with murder.
Has BJP really cut ties with Sengar?
Despite Sengar being in jail for months now, BJP didn't take action against him. The saffron party expelled him only after a massive outcry which started when the victim met with a deadly accident last month. And the advertisement shows BJP hasn't really been able to cut ties with Sengar. Surprisingly, the local leader who funded the advertisement found nothing wrong in it.
"He is our MLA, his photo can be put"
"He (Kuldeep Singh Sengar) is the MLA of our area that is why his photo is there. Till the time he is our MLA, his photo can be put," Anuj Dixit, chief of the Nagar Panchayat of Uugu in Unnao, who funded the advertisement said.
In fact, BJP spokesperson also asked, "What's wrong in it?"
Further, Rakesh Tripathi, BJP's spokesperson, also opined the advertisement wasn't problematic. He said Sengar was a rape "accused" and hadn't been proven "guilty". "The advertisement was released at a local level and it is routine to publish pictures of elected representatives. Kuldeep Singh Sengar is an accused and not guilty of rape. I don't see anything wrong in such advertisement," Tripathi told News18.
Why does Rahul Gandhi meet convicted people, asked Tripathi
"Why don't people question politicians like Lalu Yadav who are proven guilty in many cases and still Congress leader Rahul Gandhi meets him. There can be many allegations on anyone but one has to be proven guilty," Tripathi went on.
On SC's order, the case was shifted out of UP
Notably, the case has been shifted to Delhi on Supreme Court's order. But what's unfortunate is that apex court stepped in only after the accident, in which two aunts of the victim died. The survivor had written numerous letters to senior officials of UP administration and even one to CJI Ranjan Gogoi, claiming she was under threat. However, no one listened to her pleas.