New Delhi: The political fight for Assembly polls in the city turned dirty on Tuesday with Congress raking up 17-year-old allegation against BJP`s Chief Ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan about rape of a woman who used to work at his residence.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and two of her Cabinet colleagues Harun Yusuf and Raj Kumar Chouhan raised the issue at a press conference at her residence to rebut BJP`s attack on Delhi Government that it failed to check growing incidents of rape in the city.
When contacted, Vardhan said he does not consider it necessary to reply to such "wild and frivolous" allegations.
"Vardhan has raised the issue of incidents of rape in Delhi. When as Health Minister in the then BJP government in 1996, he could not ensure the safety of a woman how can he ensure the security of women in entire Delhi," said Yusuf while referring to BJP`s billboards that said `Rok na paye Balatkar Badlo Congress Sarkar` (Change the Congress government which failed to prevent rapes).
Dikshit said BJP`s "misleading" campaign against the government forced the Congress to raise the 17-year-old allegation against Vardhan.
"We had to give answer to their misleading campaign as they said we could not prevent incidents of rapes in the city," the Chief Minister said replying to questions why such an old issue has been raked up.
The allegations against Vardhan were levelled in July, 1996 that a maid was raped at his official residence. Vardhan was Health Minister then. The woman, who was an inmate at a women`s home, had delivered a baby boy.
When the issue was raised in Delhi Assembly, Vardhan had strongly denied the allegations and offered to undergo DNA test.