BJP questions crimes against women in Bengal and Rajasthan

BJP leaders hold press conferences to highlight crimes against women in these Congress-ruled States; ask whether videos of atrocities must go viral in order to get the attention of political parties

July 21, 2023 09:14 pm | Updated 11:43 pm IST - NEW DELHI

BJP leader Locket Chatterjee breaks down during a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi on July 21, 2023.

BJP leader Locket Chatterjee breaks down during a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi on July 21, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

The BJP went on the offensive on Friday, lashing out against the West Bengal and Rajasthan governments — ruled by the Trinamool Congress and Congress respectively — regarding their record on crimes against women. BJP MP Locket Chatterjee broke down in tears at a press conference, asking whether atrocities against women in these States would only get attention if there were viral videos recording such incidents.

Ms. Chatterjee was referring to the viral video of two women being stripped and paraded naked in Manipur’s Thoubal district, sparking outrage from INDIA — the new Opposition coalition — at the Manipur government’s inability to handle law and order in the State. In his customary remarks before the Monsoon Session of Parliament on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also expressed his anger at the Manipur incident, but had referred to the need for all Chief Ministers to take action on complaints of crimes against women, specifically mentioning Chattisgarh and Rajasthan which are both Congress-ruled States.

EDITORIAL | Alarm bells: on the violence in the West Bengal panchayat elections

West Bengal crimes

Union Minister Gajendra Shekhawat also highlighted similar crimes against women in Rajasthan in a separate press conference. The two media events were clearly an attempt to raise the pitch on the BJP’s campaign against Opposition parties over the issue of atrocities against women, to counter its rivals targeting it using the Manipur video.

Alleging that a “Manipur-like” situation prevails in West Bengal, State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar claimed that a woman had been paraded naked in South Panchla for daring to contest the recent panchayat polls in the State.

Both Mr. Majumdar and Ms. Chatterjee, who are members of Lok Sabha, mentioned atrocities against women taking place in Alipurduar and Birbhum. Over 57 people have been killed in violence during and after the polls in the State, Mr Majumdar claimed, hitting out at the Trinamool Congress and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“The West Bengal Chief Minister is silent despite being a woman. You tell us where we will go. We also want our daughters to be saved,” Ms Chatterjee said in tears. “We are also daughters of the country. West Bengal is also part of the country,” she added.

‘Failed State’

Both leaders condemned the incident in Manipur but asked whether videos of similar crimes in West Bengal needed to go viral for people to pay attention to the situation there. A TMC leader was involved in one of the attacks, they claimed. “Democracy has been murdered in the State. Mamata Banerjee should first take care of Bengal before travelling to Manipur,” Ms. Chatterjee said, claiming that over 3,000 women were in relief camps.

Mr Shekhawat and BJP national general secretary Arun Singh alleged that Congress-ruled Rajasthan has become a “completely failed State”, with at least 17 cases of rape being registered every day. They asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi when he will visit the state to see the “total collapse” of law and order there.

”As per media reports, every day, 17 to 18 cases of rape and five to seven cases of murder are registered in Rajasthan…Extortion of business owners are happening every day. Rajasthan is in the number one position when it comes to crime against women, crime against children and atrocities on Dalits,” Mr. Shekhawat said.

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