Rape accused BSP MP surrenders, says poll win acquits him in people’s court
On the run for over a month since he was made an accused in a rape case, BSP MP Atul Rai finally surrendered before a Varanasi court on Saturday but not before he had released a video claiming that people had already acquitted him by voting him to 17th Lok Sabha from Ghosi in Uttar Pradesh.
Rai is one of the only 15 Mahagathbandhan candidates to have won in Uttar Pradesh. He defeated his BJP rival Harinarayan Rajbhar by 1.22 lakh votes.
Rai won even though he did not campaign and was missing on both voting and results days, after the case was lodged against him on May 1. BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav had campaigned for him in Ghosi in his absence on May 15.
Right before he surrendered, Rai accused the complainant of leveling false allegations against him. He alleged that the complainant had accused two other persons before him. He was ready to face probe by any agency, he claimed.
The rape case against Rai was registered on May 1 following a complaint by a woman who alleged that he sexually exploited her. Since then, Rai was on the run.
On June 12, the complainant wrote to chief minister Yogi Adityanath and top cops of the state alleging that Rai and his goons were pressuring her to withdraw the rape case. She pointed out that Rai had not been arrested even 12 days after the case was registered on May 1.
Rai had been evading arrest and was declared an absconder. He avoided surrender in a Varanasi court on three dates fixed by the Judicial Magistrate after his plea for relief was turned down by the Supreme Court.
Rai didn’t even turn up to take oath as an MP when the 17th Lok Sabha convened.
Since he has not taken the oath, he is not eligible to participate in the debate and in the voting process. Rai, however, remains an MP, and as per the rules, must take oath within 60 sittings of the Lower house otherwise he may lose his membership.