Holding a strong brief for her Rural Development Minister Daddu Prasad, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Thursday dismissed the accusation of rape against him as "false and baseless."
"Evidently, the charge of rape against the minister appears to be the result of a conspiracy to defame both him and the Bahujan Samaj Party government", said UP Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh while addressing a press conference on behalf of the chief minister.
He said, "the chief minister feels that the minister was absolutely innocent and such a wild allegation against him was politically motivated and clearly the handiwork of the frustrated opposition parties."
Earlier on Wednesday, the woman had stated before a magistrate in Chitrakoot that while minister Daddu Prasad's henchman Angad had been blackmailing her and subjecting her to sexual abuse since 2005, the minister himself raped her in 2007, when she approached him with request for a government job.
According to the cabinet secretary, the chief minister has raised very vital questions on the issue that reflects the falsehood of the charge against Daddu Prasad. "In the first place, if the woman's charge of rape in 2005 were to be believed, then she must explain why she took six years to make the complaint; after all BSP was not in power at that time and obviously Daddu Prasad was not a minister at that time," the cabinet secretary said.
Going a step further he said, "the chief minister also wants to know why the woman did not come forward with her complaint in 2007, when, soon after BSP's return to power, an open invitation was issued to victims of different types of crimes who were denied the opportunity to register criminal cases against their oppressors during the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime."
He also sought to add, "even when the woman filed her first complaint as late as on October 16 before the Chitrakoot superintendent of police, she never mentioned the name of the minister, which therefore appears to be an afterthought."