New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) Accusing BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi of commenting on the religion of a rape victim, Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev on Friday termed her a “disgrace” to the nation.
Responding to allegations levelled by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) NP at a press conference earlier, Dev said: “I condemn her statement. She is a disgrace to this nation and to the womenfolk of India.
“I hope she will stir her own conscience and put herself in the position of those women who have been repeatedly beaten and raped in several states.”
Earlier in the day, referring to the rape incidents in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao, Lekhi said the opposition was raking up these cases selectively, adding they did not talk about the rape and burning of a 12-year-old girl in Assam as the rapist was a Muslim.
Noting that the BJP leader was commenting on the religion of the victim, Dev said: “You should be ashamed, Meenakshi Lekhiji, that you are speaking in favour of a party and in its leaders when there are so many crimes against women.
“I want to tell her (Lekhi) whether the victim is a Muslim girl or a Hindu girl, whether the rape takes place in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan, there is no religion of crime.
“We feel ashamed that the BJP has such women leadership who are commenting on the religion of a girl who is raped.”
Answering an allegation by Lekhi that Jammu Bar Association President B.S. Slathia was the polling agent of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, she said: “He may or may not have been a polling agent of Ghulam Nabiji, he is not acting in his capacity as a Congress leader.
“But today the BJP MLA of Uttar Pradesh accused of rape continues to be in the party.”
She said Lekhi had “shamed the nation as a woman MP by drawing an analogy between a polling agent and an MLA. It shows your lack of sensitivity and lack of defence”.
The Congress MP said Party president Rahul Gandhi’s call for midnight protest at India Gate on Thursday was about violence against women throughout the country and not about a particular state.