Party considers it as a crucial factor in ‘netting’ swing voters influenced by issues of immediate concern.
The BJP is trying to keep the issue of poor law and order situation in Congress-ruled Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh hot in the run-up to the November-December Assembly elections as the party think tank considers it a crucial factor in grabbing the attention of swing voters who are more prone to getting influenced by issues of immediate concern and visible proximity.
BJP National President J.P. Nadda has taken the lead in highlighting the issue of women’s safety in Rajasthan and hit out at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. In Chhattisgarh, state BJP unit has highlighted the issue of the “targeted political killing” of party workers by the Naxals and the gangrape of a tribal woman teacher near Dangari waterfall.
Referring to an incident related to the stripping and beating of a tribal woman in Pratapgarh, Nadda said in a message on X, “The video from Pratapgarh, Rajasthan, is shocking. What is worse is that governance in Rajasthan is absent. The CM and Ministers are busy settling factional squabbles, and the remaining time is spent appeasing one dynasty in Delhi. It’s no wonder the issue of women’s safety is being completely ignored in the state.”
He said, “Every single day, there is an instance of harassment against women. The people of Rajasthan will teach the state government a lesson.”
Signalling the saffron party’s intention to prominently play up the issue of women’s safety in the desert state, the BJP national president also shared details of crimes against women and said that such incidents are coming to light almost daily in the state. “In the last 54 months, 10 lakh cases of crimes against women have been registered. On an average, 19 such cases are coming to light daily across the state,” he said at an election rally.
In Bharatpur, the husband of a state minister is facing murder and rape charges but he is moving around freely, he alleged. “A government that gives protection to such people has no right to remain in power,” Nadda said.
In Chhattisgarh, state BJP chief Arun Sao raised the issue of “targeted political killing” of party workers by the Naxals and the lack of police action in such cases.
In June, a former sarpanch Kaka Arjun was killed in Bastar division by Naxalites who abandoned the body in the middle of a road with a hand-written letter in which they had described their action as a punishment for the victim who did not heed their warnings to quit politics. Soon after the incident in June, a war of words had broken out between the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP, with the former describing the incident as unfortunate and accusing the BJP of politicising the case.
BJP MLA Ranjana Sahu lashed out at the Bhupesh Baghel government over the gangrape of a private school teacher near Dangari waterfall in Jashpur district. “This shameful incident took place on the Teachers’ Day. The Congress government in the state has failed to protect women and has no moral right to continue in power,” she said. She said the rising number of gangrape incidents is casting doubt over the efficiency of the police.
“There have been claims that in some cases political protection has been given to suspects, forcing police not to act against them,” said Sahu, alleging that one of the suspects in the Dangari gangrape case was a Congress supporter.
She also referred to incidents like the alleged gangrape of a five-year-old girl in Sukma district, the gangrape of two girls on the Rakshabandhan day at Mandir Hasaud in Raipur and the gangrape of a woman from Bilaspur in the posh Devender Nagar area of the capital.