The BJP on Saturday vehemently denied links to one of the killers in the gruesome murder of a tailor in Rajasthan's Udaipur, after the Congress latched on to media reports and social media posts to draw the connection.
"We have no links to either of the accused," Sadiq Khan, the chief of the BJP's minority wing in the state, said at a news conference, repeating that the killing was a failure of the Congress government in Rajasthan.
The Congress had alleged that one of the main accused in the brutal killing of a tailor in Udaipur is a "BJP member" and asked whether the centre had moved quickly to transfer the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to sweep it under the carpet.
Senior Congress leader Pawan Khera cited a media group's "very sensational disclosure" in connection with the Udaipur incident which pointed to the BJP links with Riyaz Attari, also called Riaz Akhtari.
"The killer of Kanhaiya Lal, Riyaz Attari is a member of the BJP," Mr Khera also said in a tweet, joining other Congress leaders who posted similar claims.
I'm not surprised.. Are you? pic.twitter.com/jVpmARtBue— Renuka Chowdhury (@RenukaCCongress) July 1, 2022
The claims drew consternation from the BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya who dismissed them as "fake news".
"I am not surprised that you are peddling #FakeNews. The Udaipur murderers WERN'T members of the BJP. Their attempt to infiltrate was like the LTTE assassin's attempt to enter the Congress to kill Rajiv Gandhi," he tweeted.
Tailor Kanhaiya Lal was killed Tuesday afternoon by two cleaver-wielding men, who posted a grisly video of the crime online claiming responsibility for the murder, accusing him of insulting Prophet Mohammed in a social media post.
The two accused, Riaz Akhtari and Gos Mohammad, have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.
At the news briefing, Mr Khera cited pictures and posts linking Attari with BJP leaders -- Irshad Chainwala and Mohammad Tahir.
"It has also come to the fore in the same disclosure that the main accused Riyaz Attari often participated in the programmes of Rajasthan BJP leader and former minister Gulabchand Kataria," he alleged.
"Not only this, but pictures of the main accused Riyaz Attari attending the meetings of the BJP's Rajasthan minority unit are also in front of the world," Mr Khera claimed.
Through the posts of BJP leader Irshad Chainwala on Facebook on November 30, 2018, and Mohammad Tahir on February 3, 2019, October 27, 2019, August 10, 2021, November 28, 2019, and other posts, it is clear that Attari was not only "close to BJP leaders", but was also an active member of the BJP, Mr Khera alleged.