Days after the Madhya Pradesh Assembly passed a Bill proposing death penalty for rape of girls aged 12 or less, the ruling BJP has organised a grand function to felicitate Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, arguing that there was nothing wrong in taking political mileage from good initiatives taken by the government.
“We are members of a political party. We did not react the way we should have after the Bill was passed. We should take political mileage from it,” state BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chouhan told a party workers’ meeting organised at the BJP headquarters on Friday. Party sources confirmed that the state chief made that comment.
The felicitation will be held in Bhopal on December 14. A party release said since the Bill was passed, women’s social, cultural and religious organisations across the state have sought to felicitate the CM and because the number is large the felicitation will be done at one place. The release sought participation of women party workers.
On being asked about his remarks, the state party chief paraphrased it to say that whatever is done for society ultimately benefits the party. “…Take our government’s pro-women measures to people with full attentiveness. If women become aware no one will dare to commit crimes (against them). We should get credit for this,” the release quoted him as saying. Chouhan spoke about the measures taken by the BJP government in honour of Queen Padmavati.
The Congress did not appreciate the comment. “When the BJP and the government were making a plan to use the Bill for their branding, a teenager was gangraped and burnt in the home district of Home Minister Bhupendra Singh,” Congress spokesman K K Mishra said, referring to an alleged incident in Devla village of Sagar district on Friday.