Rahul Gandhi counters BJP’s ‘silence’ jibe over Hoshiarpur rape case

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Rahul Gandhi countered BJP’s ‘silence’ jibe: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra checks on her brother Rahul Gandhi who was allegedly roughed up by the UP police en route to Hathras to meet the family of the victim (Courtesy: File/ANI)

Rahul Gandhi countered BJP’s ‘silence’ jibe over Hoshiarpur rape case by saying that the governments of Punjab and Rajasthan are not denying incidents of rape unlike the Uttar Pradesh. He said that he will “go there to fight for justice” if the state governments fail to do so.

The Congress leader’s response came hours after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman questioned the Congress’s “silence” on the Hoshiarpur rape case.

“Unlike in UP, the governments of Punjab and Rajasthan were not denying that the girl was raped. They are threatening her family and blocking the course of justice. If they do, I will go there to fight for justice,” Gandhi tweeted.

Rahul Gandhi counters BJP’s Hathras reference

The Congress leader’s UP reference was regarding the Hathras case, where a 19-year-old Dalit girl died after four upper caste men allegedly raped her. And the officials hurriedly cremated her without the family’s presence.

Gandhi, along with his sister Priyanka had then visited the residence of the victim in Hathras and assured them support.

Comparing the two cases, Sitharaman questioned why the Congress leaders not organised ‘picnic’ to meet the kin of the six-year-old. Punjab police had discovered the half-burnt body of the child on Wednesday evening.

While referring to Rahul and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit to the Hathras village, Sitharaman said, “In the Hathras rape case, it seemed as though they were all going out for a picnic. The brother and sister ran towards the village. But why not in the case of Hoshiarpur or Rajasthan? The selective outrage of the party had been completely exposed.”

“Why was there no response from the ‘tweet-friendly’ leader? Does this selective outrage suit the Congress party? At least 35 MPs were flamboyant in their statements on Twitter in the case of Hathras. Where are those 35 MPs today?” she added.

Sitaraman takes a swipe at Tejashwi Yadav

Noting that the young girl belonged to a Dalit migrant family from Bihar, Sitharaman also took a swipe at Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, questioning if he had asked Rahul Gandhi about the issue while holding a joint poll campaign with him in the state.

Amid high security, the body of the six-year-old rape victim cremated in Hoshiarpur village on Friday. The entire village attended last rites of the minor where the family demanded capital punishment for the accused. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, directed the DGP to conduct a swift probe in the matter.

The CM, in a statement, said that he had directed the director general of police to ensure that the court fast-tracked the case to ensure strict and exemplary action for the accused. He ridiculed the BJP leaders’ criticism of the silence of the Congress leadership on the case. Singh dubbed their remarks as “political puffery” with no substance or basis to support their criticism.

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