LUCKNOW: Ten months after he was convicted for raping a teenager and sentenced to life in prison and subsequently losing his state assembly membership, Kuldeep Sengar's shadow is still haunting the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
With the 2017 Unnao rape survivor voicing concern over the BJP reposing its faith in the former MLA's kin for winning panchayat polls in Unnao district, the party has been compelled to roll back its decision twice in three months.
In April, the BJP named Sengar's wife Sangita as its supported candidate from one of the wards in district panchayat elections in Unnao. As the decision caused uproar and drew protests from the rape survivor, the party had to replace her.
But two months later, it was again caught on the wrong foot on Thursday when it named the former MLA's close aide and distant relative Arun Singh as BJP candidate for next month's district panchayat chairperson polls in Unnao.
A few hours later, the rape survivor appealed against the decision to President Ram Nath Kovind, PM Narendra Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath.
She pointed out that Singh was one of the accused in the case registered in connection with the accident involving her car in July 2019, which killed her two aunts and inflicted serious injuries to her and her advocate.
Realising that the decision had rendered opportunity to its political opponents to target the party eight months before the assembly polls, the BJP changed its candidate despite Singh’s protests that he was given clean chit by the CBI.