- Rajasthan has witnessed a string of attacks by cow vigilantes in the past
- Amit Shah expressed confidence that BJP will win Rajasthan elections
- "We had won then, we will win now" said Amit Shah on lynching incidents
BJP chief Amit Shah today expressed confidence that the party will win the coming elections in Rajasthan, which has witnessed a string of attacks by cow vigilantes over more than a year. Pointing to the lynching in Dadri -- the first of many across the country --- he said the party won that time too.
"Whenever elections come up, they rake up the issue of Akhlaq's killing, award wapasi (return of award)... But we won even then and we will win now as well," he told BJP workers at a meeting in Jaipur.
In September 2015, 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was killed by a mob at his village in Dadri on suspicions of cow slaughter. Despite huge protests by the opposition and the civil society, which included a spate of returned awards from a section of intelligentsia, the BJP had swept the elections last year.
Rajasthan has witnessed a series of similar attacks, the last of which -- the killing Rakbar Khan, a young man from Haryana -- took place at Alwar in July. The man was taking home cattle bought at a fair.
Before that, a 55-year-old dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, was killed by a mob in Alwar. A video of a mob raining blows on him had triggered outrage across the country.
In December last year, a man was burnt alive in Rajasamand on accusations of love jihad - a term used by rightwing groups who accuse Muslim men of drawing Hindu women into relationships and converting them. The accused in the case, Shambhu Lal, had shot a video of the gruesome act, keeping up a communal rant.
Following the incidents, Vasundhara Raje's government has faced criticism from the opposition, which accused it of doing too little. Pointing to Uttar Pradesh, Mr Shah, however, said, "we had won then, we will win now".
Mr Shah had expressed similar confidence at the party's two-day national executive that ended yesterday. "No one will be able to eradicate the BJP for the next 50 years," Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had quoted him as saying after the meeting.