Any person facing charges of rape would not find place in the Bahujan Samaj Party list of nominees at any future election. This announcement was made by former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati in Lucknow on Wednesday.
Asked to comment on the increasing public demand for denial of election tickets to politicians accused of rape, she told a press conference, "Yeh achchha sujhaw hai aur humari party isse hundred one percent sahmat hai aur is par poora amal bhi karegi" (this is a good suggestion ; my party is fully convinced about this and we will ensure that no person accused of rape gets our party ticket at any election.).
Evidently, the BSP chief took the step on account of the currently mounting public outcry against crimes against women in general and rape in particular. What was however ironic that the announcement comes at a time when several of BSP's sitting members of Legislative Assembly and former minister were facing serious charges of rape and murder.
One of her close former cabinet colleagues, Anand Sen was currently in jail for alleged rape and murder of a 25- year old girl, whom he had abducted and killed during his stint at minister in the Mayawati government.
Besides Sen, BSP MLA Purshottam Naresh Dwivedi was facing serious charge of raping a minor girl in Banda. And likewise, another former BSP cabinet minister Awadhpall Singh Yadav was charges of raping a young girl in Etah district.
Yet, Mayawati went on to charge Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and the Samajwadi Party government of remaining a 'silent spectator' to increasing crimes against women.
"Jab Uttar Pradesh mein Dilli aur desh ke kayi rajyon ki tulna mein kayi guna zyada yahan mahilaon ke ooper balaatkar wa anya jaghanya jo vaardatein ho rahi hain un maamlon mein Uttar Pradesh ka mukhiya silent rahta hai", charged Mayawati. (Even as the number of rapes and other crimes against women was several times more than Delhi and other states, the head of the UP government remains silent on this all important issue).
According to reports, various political parties had fielded as many as 27 rape accused at the last general elections of which 10 belonged to UP. And of the state's 402 sitting MLAs, four were alleged rapists. While three of these belonged to the ruling Samajwadi Party, one was from BSP.