BJP’s women safety pitch vs the accused sex offenders in its backyard | Mandate 2024, Ep 4

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The BJP claims women are safer under the Narendra Modi government, simultaneously accusing its political opponents of prioritising appeasement over law and order. The Sandeshkhali episode in West Bengal – a case in point – where leaders of the governing TMC have been accused of sexual assault.

But what of the accused sex predators in the BJP’s own backyard, especially in Uttar Pradesh where the party claims crime has been controlled with an iron fist?

In this episode of Mandate 2024: Claim vs Reality, Sreenivasan Jain visits Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP has fielded Karan Bhushan Singh, the son of incumbent MP and former chief of the Wrestling Federation Of India Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The half measure is in keeping with the BJP’s wariness in taking tough action against its disgraced MP, right from when the sexual harassment charges against him first surfaced. The BJP’s response to the allegations against Brij Bhushan Singh had prompted street protests last year by the wrestling world’s biggest names. Wrestlers have reacted once again, with anguish on the news of Singh’s son being given the ticket, calling it a win for the BJP strongman.

“Brij Bhushan jeetenge hee jeetenge (Brij Bhushan will definitely win)!”. In a brief, heated interview to Sreenivasan Jain, the strongman is visibly agitated at being questioned about the charges of sexual harassment against him. Moments before he storms off, he boldly insists that he will win the case. On the ground, support for him is evident with few voices taking the charges against him seriously.

Keeping cases like Brij Bhushan Singh and Unnao accused Kuldeep Singh Sengar aside, the BJP’s record in Uttar Pradesh is not unblemished. Government data shows that incidents of crimes against women rose by 17 percent in the first five years of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister.

While the BJP’s gamble in backing Brij Bhushan may help it in his east UP fiefdom, has it pushed the party on the backfoot nationally? At a time when the crisis around Prajwal Revanna, a BJP-ally in Karnataka, continues to snowball?

Watch.

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