New Delhi: In a bid to launch a counter-attack on Congress, BJP general secretary blamed the party for instigating protests in the state of Jammu and Kashmir which are demanding concrete action against culprits in the Kathua rape case.
An eight-year-old girl in Kathua, belonging to a nomadic Muslim tribe in the district, was sedated time and again before being raped and killed. She was abducted on January 10 and was later strangled to death on January 14. The body of the girl was recovered from Rassana forest on January 17 - nearly a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area. Ram Madhav defended investigations into the case and said opposition parties were trying to gain political mileage. "We actually acted very fast. State government and police acted swiftly. Congress is trying to politicize the issue. I am accusing Congress of being behind the agitations in Jammu," he told news agency ANI.
Congress has been leading the charge against BJP - a party first came under heavy and incessant fire when two of its ministers in the J&K cabinet - Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga - attended a subsequent protest organised by Hindu Ekta Manch, an outfit that protested against the initial arrests made in the case. On Friday, PDP - BJP's partner in the state - demanded the two ministers resign and threatened to break the alliance. The resignations came in by evening. "There was indiscretion on part of our two ministers (Lal Singh and PC Ganga). Coming under pressure from local public, they spoke at a gathering," said Madhav. " I immediately flew to Jammu as soon as I got to know & told party that we should fully support the investigation," he added.
While the investigations are indeed underway, the future of PDP-BJP alliance stands on shaky grounds. CM Mehbooba Mufti will chair a high-level meeting on Saturday to decide on the political partnership. On Friday, she tweeted that nothing short of complete justice would suffice. She also demanded capital punishment for rapists who target minors.