The BJP and BSP have found themselves on the same page with regard to taking a position on Rahul Gandhi’s reported statement on the deaths in Greater Noida, though the saffron party tried to maintain a position of independence.
“Rahul Gandhi has no right to defame women of these villages (referring on Gandhi’s comments on rape). He should not make such claims without a proper enquiry,” said BJP national spokesperson Shahanawaz Hussain.
“None has told us yet that rapes had taken place in Bhatta or Parsaul.”
If Gandhi thought this was the case, he should have got an FIR lodged instead of going to the media first, Hussain added.
Gandhi had visited the villages and launched a sharp attack on the Mayawati government – alleging murders and rapes by police – over the recent standoff between the villagers and administration in the backdrop of farmers’ demand for better compensation for acquired lands.
Keen not to be seen as supporting the BSP government in UP, the BJP also attacked UP chief minister Mayawati, even alleging that the Congress and BSP were hand in glove.
“Behenji (Mayawati) gave wounds to the farmers there and Gandhi is rubbing salt into them,” Hussain said.
On the other hand, Kalraj Mishra, BJP’s national vice-president, told HT, “We are now holding a kisan panchayat in all villages along the Yamuna Expressway, where the state government has unleashed a reign of terror, acquiring farmers' land at throwaway prices and giving it to its preferred industrialists at substantial profit.”
Mishra added, “Rahul is playing politics over dead bodies. We don’t know what has happened to the missing villagers. He has magically arrived at the figure of 74 deaths. How?”
Political polarisation arising out of this acrimony has been sharp.
Mayawati on Wednesday directed her senior party functionaries to expose the alleged anti-people policies of the Congress-led UPA government.