The BJP on Thursday expelled Uttar Pradesh MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is an accused in the Unnao rape case and was on Wednesday booked by the CBI for alleged involvement in the survivor’s accident that left her with critical injuries.
Sengar, 52, a four-time MLA, is accused of raping the woman in 2017. She was 17-years-old then. The woman and her lawyer were injured and two of her aunts killed on Sunday in Rae Bareli when a speeding truck rammed the car in which they were travelling.
The CBI, in its FIR in the accident, named Sengar, his brother and their alleged associates, identified as Vinod Mishra, Hari Pal Singh, Navin Singh, Komal Singh, Arun Singh, Gyanendra Singh, Rinku Singh and advocate Awadesh Singh. Ten to 15 other people, who weren’t identified, are also suspects.
The BJP had come under a lot of criticism for failing to take action against Sengar, the Bangarmau MLA, with the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party aggressively raising the issue in Lok Sabha and asking Prime Minister Modi to step in.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in a series of tweets, has attacked the BJP on the issue. “Why do we give people like Kuldeep Sengar the strength and protection of political power and abandon their victims to battle for their lives alone?” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.
The four time lawmaker, Sengar is accused of raping the girl when she went to meet him along with a neighbour to seek his help in getting a job in June 2017.
This was followed by two years of ordeal that saw the girl going missing for almost 10 days, accusing police of not letting her name the MLA in her complaint, her father being beaten up and dying in custody and a key witness dying in 2018.
The case was finally handed over to the CBI in 2018 and it booked Sengar, his brother and five others in the case.
In the past few weeks, preceding the rape survivor’s road accident, she and her family had written several letters to the police, CBI, government officials and the CJI alleging threat to life from the MLA. They accused the MLA and his henchmen of intimidating them and asking them to withdraw the case.
Even as #Unnaocase trended on Twitter, BJP leaders largely kept silent on the influential MLA. Sengar’s political clout is such that soon after winning the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj had visited the Sitapur jail to meet and “thank” the lawmaker.
After winning on a BSP ticket in 2002, Sengar won two successive polls (2007, 2012) on Samajwadi Party ticket before joining the BJP ahead of the 2017 UP polls and winning his fourth term as lawmaker from Bangarmau, Unnao. What’s more, he won three of the four assembly polls from different assembly seats of Unnao-- he won his first election in 2002 on BSP ticket from Unnao (sadar) seat; in 2007, he won on a Samajwadi Party ticket from Bangarmau and in 2012 he again won on SP ticket, this time from Bhagwant Nagar.