In the wake of the insensitive comments by senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan against the victims of the Bulandshahr gangrape, in which he referred to the case as a political conspiracy, leaders across the political spectrum and people on social media slammed him and demanded an unconditional apology.
Khan said that if parties can organise riots for votes, rape is not a big thing. Khan said that there can be opposition’s hand in the case to defame the government. “Elections are near and a desperate opposition could stoop to any level to defame the government. We must also probe whether this entire controversy is a move by some Opposition elements to defame the government. People who want to come to power may be stooping this low for political interests,” the minister said addressing media.
The comments drew a a furious reaction from political leaders and the public. BJP and Congress came down heavily on Khan. Congress’ Ragini Nayak demanded an apology form the minister for his comments. “AzamKhan added insult to the injuries of #Bulandshahr gangrape victims n family. He must accept hs mistake n apologise #EndPoliticsOverRape(sic)” she tweeted.
— Ragini Nayak (@NayakRagini) August 2, 2016
Criticicing Khan’s comment, UP BJP chief K P Maurya said that he is doing politics over rape. “He is doing politics on gangrape now. It’s a matter of shame,” said Maurya. While party’s general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak remarked the statement as ‘outrageous’. “It was shameful that a senior minister like Khan has made such outrageous statements” said Pathak.
BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma also hit out at the state government over Khan’s comment. “It shows how low the ruling party in UP can stoop to for votes,” he said.
“Azam Khan has politicised a horrible incident like this. It shows how low this government and its leaders can stoop to get votes. If Akhilesh Yadav has any morality and shame left, then he should seek a CBI probe so that the victims can get justice,” he said.
BJP National Secretary Sidhartanath Singh said that the comments show SP government’s insensitivity towards heinous crimes. “Comments of #AzamKhan shows SP govt’s insensitivity towards heinous crimes like rape & raises larger Q on women safety in UP”.
The family of the victim mother-daughter duo also lashed out at Khan. Pained by insensitive statement, the father of minor victim asked, “Will Azam say the same thing about his family?”. Revealing the traumatised state of her daughter, he asked,”Will Azam Khan call it a political conspiracy if his own kin were victims.”
The reactions elsewhere in the social sphere also targeted the SP leader and while some demanded he be sacked by CM Akhilesh Yadav, others said he must issue an apology.