BJP president Amit Shah had promised the party, if voted to power, would get rape accused absconding Samajwadi Party MLA Gayatri Prajapati arrested even from "hell".
During the recently concluded Assembly election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, BJP president Amit Shah had promised the party, if voted to power, would get rape accused absconding Samajwadi Party MLA Gayatri Prajapati arrested within days of the formation of the saffron party government. While addressing an election rally in Ambedkar Nagar on March 5, Shah had said, “As soon as the BJP forms the government in UP on March 11, we would search (Gayatri Prasad) Prajapati even from hell and send him to jail.” On several other occasions, Shah had reiterated the promise.
Following a Supreme Court directive, the Uttar Pradesh police had lodged a FIR against Prajapati and six others for allegedly gang-raping a woman and attempting to rape her minor daughter. The top court had also asked UP police to submit the action taken report within eight weeks.
Prajapati was a powerful minister in the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government. When the FIR was filed against him, Prajapati was contesting from the Amethi seat on an SP ticket. Eventually, Prajapati was defeated in the polls by BJP but the Akhilesh government failed to arrest Prajapati, who allegedly absconded. What surprised many during the polls was that even Akhilesh had campaigned for the rape-accused leader. All of this, however, dented Akhilesh’s image among the voters as they saw him openly campaigning for a rape accused tainted leader.
With the arrest of Prajapati, Shah has kept his words even as the BJP government in the state is yet to be sworn in. Interestingly, Akhilesh had also claimed once that Prajapati would be arrested after the elections. The question that troubled UP voters the most was: Why Akhilesh was not taking direct action against the tainted leader?
While police and SP leaders had earlier claimed that Prajapati could not be arrested because he was absconding, on Wednesday he was arrested from state capital Lucknow. Manzil Saini, Senior Superintendent of Police, Lucknow, said that the SP leader was arrested from Aashiyana area of the city early on Wednesday morning and he would be produced before the POCSO Court.
Police have already arrested six persons named in the FIR.
With Prajapati’s arrest, the political football over the rape accused leader cannot be said to be over now. Prajapati is believed to be involved in several other illegal activities, including illegal mining. Probe into his activities may bring to light many wrong doings of the Akhilesh government. This probably explains why UP police under Akhilesh was not taking prompt action against Prajapati and waiting for a favorable poll result. For now, one thing is sure that BJP government in the state mean business.