National outrage over Kathua and Unnao rape cases forces BJP’s hand
By Manish Anand And Fayaz Wani | Express News Service | Published: 14th April 2018 02:11 AM |
NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: Amid national outrage and possible cracks in BJP-PDP ties in Jammu and Kashmir over the Kathua rape incident, the Centre went into damage control on Friday evening, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring “no culprits will be spared, complete justice will be done.
Our daughters will definitely get justice”. Parallelly, the BJP sacked two J&K ministers who had taken part in the rally in support of Kathua rape accused.
In a seemingly coordinated move, Modi’s sharp condemnation of Kathua and Unnao incidents at the inauguration of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar memorial here was followed by BJP’s two ministers – Lal Singh and Chander Prakash – submitting their resignations to the state unit party chief Sat Sharma.
Both of them had taken part in a rally in support of the accused involved in the Kathua gang-rape case involving an eight-year-old girl.
Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in an interview to a news channel, had stated that the culprits in both Kathua and Unnao would be punished and justice done to the victims.
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi too was fielded by party in the day to distance the saffron outfit from the two ministers in J&K for defending the accused.
Breaking his silence, Modi said: “Incidents being discussed for the past couple of days cannot be part of a civilised society. As a country, as a society we all are ashamed of it. I want to assure the country that no culprit will be spared, complete justice will be done. Our daughters will definitely get justice.”
Modi’s unequivocal statement came a day after senior ministers and party leaders were seen evading questions on the gang-rapes.
The crisis-manager for BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir Ram Madhav on Thursday evening had dropped hints of an impending face-saver for Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who had apparently been facing political heat to revisit ties with the saffron outfit. Madhav said, “such crimes (Kathua) are inhuman and any attempt to communalise them needs to be condemned unequivocally.”
BJP chief spokesman Sunil Sethi confirmed to The New Indian Express that the two BJP ministers - Forest Minister Chaudhary Lal Singh and Minister for Commerce and Industries Chander Prakash Ganga – have submitted their resignation to the State party president.
“They resigned not on account of guilt but because of a negative campaign against them,” he said.