Why no ‘picnic’ over Hoshiarpur rape? Sitharaman questions Rahul’s silence

A six-year-old girl was raped in Hoshiarpur in Punjab. Her body was cremated amid high security on Friday in the presence of the entire village

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra Gandhi were initially stopped by the UP police from entering Hathras village to meet the victim's family in September. File photo: PTI

Reciprocating to the Congress’ tirade against the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh after the alleged rape and death of a woman in Hathras (UP) last month, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday (October 24) questioned Rahul Gandhi’s silence on the Hoshiarpur (Punjab) rape case.

Sitharaman wondered why no “picnic” was organised by Congress leaders to meet the relatives of the six-year-old child whose half-burnt body was discovered by police on Wednesday evening.

Launching a verbal attack on Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sitharaman said: “In the Hathras rape case, it seemed as though they were all going out for a picnic. The brother and sister ran towards the village. But why not in the case of Hoshiarpur or Rajasthan? The selective outrage of the party has been completely exposed.”

“Why was there no response from the ‘tweet-friendly’ leader? Does this selective outrage suit the Congress party? At least 35 MPs were flamboyant in their statements on Twitter in the case of Hathras. Where are those 35 MPs today?” the minister said while addressing the media at the BJP headquarters in the national capital on Saturday.

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Sitharaman also slammed RJD leader and Bihar CM candidate Tejashwi Yadav, who is partnering with Congress in the Assembly elections, for keeping mum on the alleged rape of a child in Bihar. “The same question is for Tejashwi Yadav who is contesting the Bihar elections. The child was the daughter of a migrant worker in Punjab. Didn’t you check it up when you had a joint campaign [with the Congress] in Bihar?”

Sitharaman continued her attack on Congress by saying: “It is because of our political games that we voice our horror in some states but are silent when it comes to those governed by the Congress party.”

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has directed the DGP to conduct a swift probe in the rape of a six-year-old rape victim in Hoshiarpur village. The girl whose half-burnt body was discovered by police on Wednesday evening was cremated amid high security on Friday and the last rites was attended by the entire village. The girl’s family has demanded capital punishment for the accused.

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