The impact of the Hathras case is being felt even on the Bihar assembly elections with the Congress postponing the announcement of its list of candidates for the upcoming polls with some of its prominent leaders asserting that tickets should not be given to tainted candidates.
The Congress election committee is yet to release its list of candidates.
One of the reasons for the delay, sources say, is that the names of some prospective candidates such as Brajesh Pandey have been tainted with allegations of rape and crimes against women, attracting howls of protests from several leaders, most notably senior Congress leader and former Union minister Girija Vyas.
Sources also said that the tickets for candidates for the Harnaut, Sultanganj, Hisua and Tekari constituencies have been held back for similar reasons, anticipating a backlash from voters.
Senior Congress leaders Tariq Anwar and Sushmita Dev have also said that the party should not award tickets to leaders accused of offences such as rape.
Dev has been strongly advocating against the party fielding candidates who have such charges against them.
The leaders have also spoken to the media expressing their support to give the party symbol only to those who have an unblemished record.
With Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra leading the campaign against Yogi Adityanath, senior party leaders are of the view that awarding tickets to tainted leaders may boomerang and erode the moral high ground the Grand Old Party has acquired on the Hathras incident.
While the internal dynamics of the party are already at play, the Congress does not wish to provide any fodder to its detractors on the matter. After long, it has gained an upper hand on the BJP and put the saffron party on the backfoot.
It does not want to squander the opportunity. Rather, it wants to cleanse itself in the state.
The Congress is fighting the elections for 70 constituencies in alliance with the RJD and Left parties.