Gujarat model: Mahua Moitra on BJP’s poll ticket to Godhra MLA who called Bilkis Bano rapists ‘sanskari’
TMC's Mahua Moitra is among several petitioners in the Supreme Court who have challenged the Gujarat government's decision to grant remission to the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra on Saturday called the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) “Gujarat model” as “hate and kill, then fete and reward” after the saffron camp fielded a Godhra MLA, who defended the release of Bilkis Bano convicts and called them “Brahmins with sanskar”, for next month's assembly elections.
“Godhra MLA who called Bilkis case rapists & killers ‘Sanskari Brahmins’ is re-nominated by BJP. This is the Gujarat Model. Hate & Kill. Then Fete & Reward,” she tweeted.
Moitra is among multiple petitioners in the Supreme Court who have challenged the release of the 11 rapists in the Bilkis Bano case, and sought for a reversal of the decision. The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for November 29.
BJP's Chandrasinh Raulji had made the remarks in August during an interview with news platform Mojo Story, days after the release of the men. He was part of the Gujarat government committee that had granted remission to the 11 convicts.
During the interview, Raulji was heard saying in Hindi that the rapists are “good people - Brahmins”. “And Brahmins are known to have good ‘sanskar’. It might have been someone's ill intention to corner and punish them,” he said, adding the convicts showed good conduct during their time behind bars.
The BJP MLA's remarks had drawn massive criticism from opposition leaders, with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Y Satish Reddy sharing the clip on Twitter and calling the saffron unit “the lowest a party can ever stoop”.
Later, the BJP-headed Gujarat government defended its decision to grant remission to the convicts in an affidavit in the Supreme Court. It said the decision was taken as the rapists had completed 14 years in jail and their “behaviour was found to be good”.
Bano, who was five-months pregnant, was raped and seven of her family members, including her three-year-old daughter, were killed during the Gujarat 2002 communal riots. The 11 convicts were serving life sentence in the Godhra sub-jail, and were released from prison on August 15.
Raulji switched to the BJP in August 2017 from the Congress party before the assembly polls. He won the elections on his new party ticket by defeating his former side by only 258 votes. In the previous polls held in 2007 and 2012, Raulji had won with a Congress ticket.