11 Apr 2018
Who is Kuldeep Singh Sengar, BJP-MLA accused of rape?
Later, her father was picked up by police. Ironically, he died in police custody. The victim's family refused to return home, fearing the MLA.
Here's all about Kuldeeep Singh Sengar.
Sengar is a turncoat, who regularly changes parties and constituencies
Sengar has the dubious reputation of aligning with the party in power.
He began his political career with Congress and became Unnao's Makhi village's pradhan in 1997-98.
In 2002, he was a BSP candidate, winning from Unnao Sadar.
In 2007, he joined SP and won from Bangaramau and in 2012, from Bhagwant Nagar.
Before 2017 polls, he joined BJP and again won from Bangaramau.
Why does Sengar enjoy such a clout?
Interestingly, while Kuldeep is a full-time politician, his brothers Manoj and Atul work to maintain the family's muscle power. They have criminal cases against them.
Atul is accused of allegedly shooting a superintendent of police in 2004 after a dispute and opening fire on the father of a journalist in 2014.
They also run jewellery businesses in Unnao and Kanpur.
Meanwhile, what does his wife have to say?
My husband is innocent. If he is proven guilty, the entire family will give up their lives. The way evidences are being hidden, it is not correct, we want justice: Sangeeta Sengar, accused MLA Kuldeep Senga's wife #Unnao pic.twitter.com/vUgF8ZyQl9— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 11, 2018
Then again, why do people vote for him?
Muscle and money power aside, Sengar's image of a prominent Thakur leader works in his favor.
In Unnao, Brahmins account for 20-22% voters. Muslims are the second largest group followed by Thakurs.
Sengar apparently has a good hold over Muslim and lower caste votes. He is known to help locals financially, even offering Rs. 10,000 as minimum cash gifts to brides in his constituency.
What does this case signify for Indian politics?
Even as the young woman runs from pillar-to-post to get her plea heard, Sengar remains unscathed. He has liberally changed political parties and enjoyed power by inculcating fear in constituents, threatening through muscle and money power. Such influences damage the fabric of our democracy.
Though Sengar denies the allegations, the victim should be given a fair chance to be heard.