“Have they got the certificate to rape girls because they belong to a particular religion?” BJP Uttar Pradesh president Laxmikant Bajpai said here on Saturday addressing the party’s two-day state executive meeting, called to set its agenda for the 2017 Assembly elections.
Bajpai was talking about the Samajwadi Party government, which he said was protecting people of a particular community and religion involved in inciting riots.
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While Bajpai didn’t mention ‘love jihad’, “conversion of Hindu girls” and “crimes of rape by people of a particular community” were the main refrain at the first day of the two-day meeting that began on Saturday. BJP president Amit Shah was to be the chief guest but stayed away at the last minute, presumably because of an urgent meeting to discuss candidates for coming bypolls.
The BJP circulated a list of the “over 100 communal clashes” in the two years of the Akhilesh Yadav government, highlighting alleged crimes against women by Muslims. It accused the SP of Muslim appeasement and failing to control communal violence.
The papers given to the state executive members included a reference to the recent incident of alleged abduction, gangrape and forced conversion of a Hindu girl in Kharkhoda area of Meerut. It was claimed that the accused had damaged the “garbhashay (uterus)” of the girl.
The BJP also mentioned communal clashes in the Malihabad area of Lucknow in April 2013 and Ghaziabad in August 2012 over incidents of eve-teasing, and the riots in Pratapgarh in June 2012, after the alleged gangrape and murder of a girl.
Union minister Kalraj MIshra, who was the chief guest in Shah’s absence, said the Uttar Pradesh government was trying to divide society with its schemes. He directed party leaders to popularise the works that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had initiated in the past three months. The party released a list of nearly 60 such works.
Listing alleged incidents in Meerut, Faizabad and Ghaziabad, Bajpai said, “Have they got the certificate to rape girls because they belong to a particular religion?” He claimed that attempts were being made in Uttar Pradesh to convert Hindu girls to another religion.
Accusing the SP government of showing a lenient attitude towards accused in the cases he listed, the state BJP chief said the SP government was instead implicating “innocent” BJP leaders raising their voice against such incidents.
Bajpai had earlier confirmed that issues of ‘love jihad’ and religious conversion of Hindu girls would be included in the political agenda of the meeting. However, the party dropped the plan, sources said, after The Indian Express carried a story in its August 23 edition in this regard. The party will table its political agenda at the meeting on Sunday morning.
Responding to questions from the media after the event on ‘love jihad’, BJP Mathura MP Hema Malini said the issue was a matter of concern and that she would be raising it in Parliament.