Sengar episode dents BJP’s image
Ravi Shanker Kapoor | August 2, 2019 12:58 pm
The Bharatiya Janata Party may have expelled its jailed Unnao MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is accused of raping a minor girl from Unnao, but the entire episode has cast its shadow over the authenticity of the BJP’s claim of being the party with a difference.
The rape case was filed against him in April 2018 when the victim tried to immolate herself in front of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence.
The case has all the ingredients of a political bombshell (and a Hindi masala film)—a rape charge, murder, violence, an accident which is suspected to be planned. The girl’s father died in police custody; video clips of him being mercilessly thrashed by Kuldeep Sengar’s brother, Atul Sengar, have appeared on social media.
The Yogi government was prompt in handing over the case to the CBI on April 13 last year, leading to Kuldeep Sengar’s was arrest.
It needs to be mentioned here that Kuldeep Sengar is among the floating mass of the political class which drift as per the flow. Beginning his political career with the Congress in the late nineties, in 2002 he joined to the Bahujan Samaj Party and, five years later, shifted to the Samajwadi Party. He won the 2007 election from Bangarmau. He also won from Bhagwant Nagar in Unnao in 2012.
In 2017, Sengar joined the BJP and won the 2017 Assembly election again from Bangarmau.
He remained a force to reckon with till recently. For instance, the BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, reportedly visited the Sitapur jail to personally thank the legislator for the support the latter extended to Maharaj.
Meanwhile the rape charge against him is being questioned. “We all know that the rape survivor’s father was an acolyte of Kuldeep Sengar and the whole case was set up to malign his image. The media has also played a role in conducting a media trial. No one ever asked the rape survivor why she did not name the legislator in her first FIR? Why did she not raise the issue when Sengar won the election? Why did she wait for one year before accusing the police of inaction?” a BJP MLA was quoted by India Today (https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/unnao-rape-case-rise-and-fall-of-kuldeep-singh-sengar-1576158-2019-08-01).
Many in the ruling dispensation say that while Sengar has done everything a bahubali leader does, the rape charge against him is incorrect.
Whatever may be the truth, the controversy has tarnished the image of the saffron party.