The BJP on Tuesday termed “needless diversion” the controversial tweet of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor suggesting that the gang-rape victim’s name be made public, and demanded that he, instead, focus on passing a stringent anti-rape law.

“This is the time for making a strong law against rape without any delay. Naming or keeping the victim’s identity a secret is not the main issue here. The media, politicians and the society are following the Supreme Court guidelines on the matter at the moment. Mr. Tharoor should emphasise passing the law at the earliest,” BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said.

The BJP maintained that the U.S. and other countries might have provisions where the name of the victim could be revealed with the family’s consent but “that should not be our concern now and it can be debated later.” He insisted that the victim’s identity be kept a secret until any decision was reached.

“Mr. Tharoor is an individual but he is also a Minister. There is no need for him to divert attention from the principal issue. He should use his influence with the Congress and the government to ensure that a special session of Parliament is called and a strong anti-rape law passed,” Mr. Hussain said.

The main Opposition said precious time had already been lost in sparring and a blame game on the gang-rape issue between the Delhi government and the Centre.

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