JAIPUR: Politics over 'love jihad' intensified in Rajasthan after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot slammed the BJP last week and accused it of "manufacturing a phrase to divide the nation and disturb communal harmony".
The verbal duel between BJP and Congress leaders suddenly got a weird twist on Thursday. BJP state chief Satish Poonia raked up a shocking case of alleged 'love jihad' to embarrass CM Gehlot and his government but it eventually boomeranged on the BJP president as the issue had arisen during the tenure of the previous Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in the state.
As a matter of fact, Poonia took to Twitter where he posted a newspaper cutting on alleged 'love jihad' to shame the Gehlot government. Besides making caustic comments, Poonia wondered when CM Gehlot would probe such instances of love jihad' which he claimed were regularly happening in Rajasthan. BJP President Poonia even queried: “When will the CM speak about injustices to these girls? Will the leader of Indian secularism and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot shed some light on such cases?”
Shortly after Poonia’s tweets, a sharp counter-attack was launched. An OSD (Officer on Special Duty) in the CM Secretariat, Lokesh Sharma, came up with a revelation that amazed everyone. Sharma revealed that the newspaper cutting on the basis of which the BJP Chief had made all his 'love jihad' allegations pertained to a case that had arisen in 2017 when Rajasthan was under BJP rule and Vasundhara Raje was the Chief Minister of the state.
In his counter attack, CM Gehlot’s OSD Lokesh Sharma tweeted, “The newspaper report which formed the basis of the Honourable BJP President’s comments has been verified as a case of 2017. We are also sharing the link to that news report.”
The alleged 'love jihad' case raised by the BJP state chief turned out to be an issue from May 2017 when the Rajasthan Police had uncovered a gang in Sikar district. In that racket, some unscrupulous men would lure minor girls into sexual relationships and make videos of their encounters. They would then threaten the girls with exposure. There were some instances where girls were pressured to undergo ‘Nikaah’ and even converted to Islam. Once the girls accepted the terms, the gang would soon push them into flesh trade.