ALLEGING THAT the Congress government in Rajasthan had put pressure on relatives of the Dalit victim in the Alwar gangrape case to “hide” the incident until polling was over in the constituency, BSP chief Mayawati on Saturday urged the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognizance of the matter.
“It is a matter for the Dalit community and women to be sad and concerned that in Rajasthan, under a Congress government, a Dalit woman was gang-raped by some influential people in front of her husband. But what is more sad and serious is that by threatening the victim’s family, the Congress government did not let the issue come to light due to their political selfishness until voting took place (in Alwar). Even after that, our party and the Dalit community had to make several attempts and struggle hard for some action to be taken,” Mayawati said in a statement.
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Maintaining that her party does not believe the victim will get justice under the Congress government in the state, the BSP chief said it would be better if the Supreme Court takes cognizance of the issue on its own.
Appeal an alert to supporters
Besides taking on the Congress, Mayawati’s appeal to her voters to be alert from organisations running in the name of B R Ambedkar can be seen as her growing concern with the increasing influence of smaller Dalit organisations in Uttar Pradesh and other Hindi belt states. While politically the BSP is still the biggest representative of Dalits, she is well aware that outfits such as the Bhim Army are getting considerable support from Dalits, especially the Jatav community — incidentally both Mayawati and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar come from this community, a sizeable section among Dalits.
Calling it an issue of dignity of women across the country, Mayawati stated, “Lok Sabha elections are going on, and political leaders are using derogatory language against women. The Election Commission is not able to show the strictness it should.”
She also claimed that “members of some parties” are forcing some women to make “fake allegations of rape” in what they claim are old cases. “This is disgusting. Even in such cases, my party wants the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognizance so that no political party can think of doing such things.”
The statement comes days after a rape case was registered against BSP candidate from Ghosi, Atul Rai. The case was filed on May 1 in Varanasi by a woman who alleged that Rai had been sexually harassing her since March last year. Rai is absconding.
Mayawati also targeted smaller Dalit organisations and parties running in the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar, alleging that these were set up at the behest of the Congress and BJP. “You should be aware of organisations and parties made on the directions of Opposition parties… these have nothing to do with the welfare of the common people,” she said.