Lucknow: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh is in a tight spot after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a chargesheet against BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in the Unnao gangerape case.
The Opposition is demanding that the BJP should expel the accused MLA while the saffron party has maintained that it is "too early" to take a call. Sengar, a four-time MLA who enjoys immense clout in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao, was on Wednesday charged by the CBI with raping a minor girl at his residence at Makhi village on June 4 last year.
"The party leadership is closely monitoring the matter and is in touch with the local leadership," UP BJP Spokesperson Chandramohan said.
"Whatever necessary steps are required to be taken as per the party's policies will be taken," he added.
The spokesperson further said that it was "too early to take a call" on the demand for the Unnao MLA's expulsion as the CBI filed the chargesheet on Wednesday. "It would be unfair to jump to an early conclusion," he said reacting to the Opposition (Samajwadi Party and Congress), besides the rape survivor's uncle's, seeking Sengar's ouster from the party.
"BJP has never compromised with its principles and we give due importance to them," he said when asked about the party's silence on taking action against Sengar even after he was named in the chargesheet.
The CBI was handed over the case by the state government nearly 10 months after the crime and a self-immolation bid by the victim in front of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence.
The subsequent death of her father in jail from injuries allegedly inflicted by the MLA's brother in April this year only added to the ruling party's woes.
The central probe agency charged Sengar and his accomplice Shashi Singh with rape under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping and criminal intimidation. The charges entail maximum punishment of imprisonment for life.
Meanwhile, the SP and Congress upped the ante against the BJP as they mounted a joint attack on the ruling party over the issue. "Anybody who has been named in a chargesheet should be expelled from the party. But, the BJP has a history of harbouring such people. As a party with a difference they should set an example, before even raising a finger at others," SP spokesperson Juhie Singh said.
UP Congress put the onus on the government and the BJP to take action against Sengar.
"People in the state are neither feeling secure outside jails, nor inside them. The government should take a call on this as those who are in power are taking the law in their own hands and committing crime," UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh told PTI. The uncle of the rape-survivor too wondered why the accused wasn't expelled from the party yet.
"Why is it so that the BJP has not expelled the MLA from the party even after the charge sheet has been filed," he said.
However, he said that the victim, her family and the villagers were satisfied with the action taken by the investigative agency.