On a day the Delhi government banned tax-booking service Uber, after one of its drivers was arrested for raping a young woman, sections in the NDA government feel that it is a case of overreaction, a decision taken under media pressure.
Indeed, Uber’s business model, this section said, was to be admired and its usefulness to a large swathe of the population should be weighed against a crime committed by one of its drivers, something that could have been committed anywhere.
But with elections in Delhi barely a month away, and the memory of the December 16 2012 rape of Nirbhaya — that became a turning point for the UPA government as people came out on the streets in thousands across the country to protest against its inability to check crimes against women — the NDA government, sources said, is unlikely to lift the ban in a hurry.
For the Congress, the way the Bharatiya Janata Party used the Nirbhaya case, not just in the Delhi polls last year but again in the general elections earlier this year, remains a sore point. On Monday, it used a reply given by the Union Home Ministry in Parliament last week on crimes against women to demonstrate how the Modi government had failed to keep its election promise of making Delhi safer.
Referring to the BJP’s election slogan, “ Bahut hua naari par atyachaar, abki baar Modi sarkar ,” Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said the government’s own data showed an increase in the number of crimes against women registered in Delhi. “This under the watch of a Prime Minister who had asked people to remember Nirbhaya at the time of voting in the last two elections in the capital,” Mr. Ahmed said.
As against 11,479 such cases registered till November 15, 2013, as many as 13,230 have been registered during the same period this year. “There is an increase of 15.25 per cent as compared to 2013,’’ the Home Ministry had told Rajya Sabha last Wednesday.
Interestingly, the Congress also questioned the Delhi government’s decision to cancel Uber’s permit: “Will you stop running trains when such an incident takes place in a train?” was the Congress’s counter.