A manager of the Congress’ social media and digital communications cell was on Tuesday charged with sexual harassment. Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said that a case has been registered against Chirag Patnaik based on the complaint of a former team member on June 11, NDTV reported.
The case was filed as Bharatiya Janata Party leader Meenakshi Lekhi attacked the Congress, demanding action against the accused. She asked the Delhi Police “under whose pressure” it had not yet registered a first information report.
Lekhi claimed that even Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi was not safe, citing an incident from April when Congress workers had allegedly harassed her during a protest in Delhi against the Kathua murder, News18 reported. The BJP leader also brought up the charges of abetment to suicide filed against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in connection with his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death.
Divya Spandana, the head of Congress’ digital media team, said that it was the first time she had heard of the sexual harassment allegations against Patnaik.
Later, she put up a statement signed by 39 Congress workers defending Patnaik. The statement said that the party had reached out to the complainant, but it had no reason to believe that Patnaik was guilty. It added that the complainant had cited “personal reasons and health matters” for resigning from the team.