Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday accused Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati of stooping to an “all-time low” after her alleged personal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking about the Alwar gang-rape incident.
“This is what India’s Opposition has to offer to the nation,” Jaitley said on Twitter. “Behan Mayawati – She is firm on becoming a Prime Minister. Her governance, ethics and discourse stoops to an all-time low. Her personal attack today on the Prime Minister exposes her as unfit for public life.”
Mayawati had accused the prime minister of “playing dirty politics” over the rape incident. “Yesterday PM Modi, in his election rallies here [Uttar Pradesh], did dramebaazi [theatrics] of his love for Dalits to draw Dalit [vote] but he will gain nothing from this...” NDTV quoted her as saying. “He was silent on the oppression of Dalits. PM Modi, in this election, kept changing his caste according to the situation.”
Mayawati also questioned how Modi could respect “sisters and wives” when he had left his own wife for political gains. “I have come to know that married women in the BJP are often worried that Modi may convince their husbands to leave them just like the prime minister has left his wife,” she said, according to ANI. She also appealed to women not to vote for Modi.
Mayawati was responding to Modi’s accusation that she was “shedding crocodile tears” over the Alwar rape case. “Behenji you will have to answer, why didn’t you withdraw support to Rajasthan’s Congress government after a Dalit daughter was gang-raped in the state?” Modi said at a rally at Kushinagar on Sunday.
On April 26, five men had allegedly accosted a couple in Alwar while they were travelling on a motorcycle. They allegedly took the couple to an isolated spot where they raped the 18-year-old Dalit woman and thrashed her husband. One of the accused even recorded the crime and uploaded it on social media. Four of the five accused are in custody.
Jaitley also criticised others in the Opposition, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Left. “Mamata Didi – Democracy has become a casualty in Bengal,” Jaitley said. “Opposition workers are murdered, candidates are attacked, polling booths are captured and Opposition leaders are not entitled to organise rallies...Why have the so called ‘Left Liberals’ gone into hiding?”
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday claimed the West Bengal government denied permission for party chief Amit Shah’s rally in Jadavpur scheduled for Monday.