Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Rajyavardhan Rathore on Monday launched a scathing attack on Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and alleged that the rise of extremist elements in the state – like the Popular Front India (PFI) – had his ‘blessing’. The comment was made in reaction to Gehlot’s recent remark criticising the post-Nirbhaya law to hang rapists.

“Rise of elements including PFI in Rajasthan has the blessing of the CM… Rajasthan number one for rapes in the country,” the BJP leader claimed.

Gehlot’s remark on death penalties and rape cases – in connection to the December 16, 2012 gangrape case – drew criticism from social media and political circle. Alleging that the comment was distorted by the BJP IT cell’, Shashikant Sharma, OSD (officer on special duty) to the chief minister, cited a report to back the Congress leader’s remark.

Rathore’s remarks came shortly after Ranjeeta Koli, a BJP MP from Bharatpur, alleged an attack by mining mafia when she tried to stop around 150 ‘overloaded’ trucks.

Koli alleged stones were thrown at her vehicle and that there was a threat to her life. Police said they had taken note but the BJP leader said the cops – in the Congress-ruled state – did not heed her complaint.

At an event last week, the Rajasthan chief minister sharpened his attack on the central government while speaking about rape cases, but got entangled himself in controversy.

“Ever since death penalty was introduced after the Nirbhaya incident, there has been a surge in killings of the victims. The accused, trying to eliminate witness and evidence in the case, kills the victim after the sexual assault. Crime cases are on an upward trend in the country and in the state, whether communal or otherwise,” he had said.

The comment was also condemned by Delhi Commission of Women’s Swati Maliwal who had lashed out at the Rajasthan chief minister, highlighting that the law was enacted after a lot of struggle.


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