With rape-accused Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Prajapati still missing, the topic of today's attack on the Samajwadi Party government was pretty easy for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pick. Addressing a rally in Jaunpur, PM Modi targeted the SP-Congress alliance for not taking action against Mr Prajapati, who has been charged with raping a woman and also attacking her young daughter.
- Mr Prajapati charged with raping a woman and also attacking her daughter
- UP minister is planning to fly abroad in order to escape arrest: Sources
- Mr Prajapati is contesting the elections from Amethi
"In this country, when we do something good, we chant the Gayatri Mantra. But, the SP-Congress alliance is chanting the Gayatri Prajapati Mantra. A case has been lodged against him (but) the chief minister went to campaign for him while he (Gayatri) was present there...Now, the police cannot trace him," PM Modi told the crowds present at the rally.
The Prime Minister also accused Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for "sleeping over" the demand for justice in the case and claimed that the elections was a perfect opportunity for the voters to perform the "pind daan" (last rites) of their "tormentors".
"A daughter is seeking justice and the chief minister is shielding the gunehgaar (guilty)...What bigger blot can there be than this that in Uttar Pradesh, when a buffalo goes missing, the government runs to find it. But, a girl is crying for justice and the police and chief minister are sleeping...Such a government needs to be punished," he added.
Gayatri Prajapati, a Samajwadi Party leader, is charged with raping a woman and attacking her daughter.
Mr Prajapati has been missing for almost a week and has moved the Supreme Court for protection from arrest. His petition is likely to be heard on Monday. Mr Prajapati was last seen campaigning in Amethi, where he is contesting the election.
Mr Prajapati was given a ticket by the Samajwadi Party even after a rape case was filed against him.
A non-bailable warrant has been issued against the minister along with a lookout notice. The Special Task Force has been roped in to trace him and raids were also conducted in Lucknow and Kanpur today.
There are reports that Mr Prajapati is planning to fly abroad in order to escape arrest. Security agencies told NDTV that orders for an alert have been issued at all airports and points from where people can leave the country.
The minister has become a huge embarrassment for Akhilesh Yadav. "What I can say is that because the Supreme Court has issued him a notice, the government will cooperate in every way possible. Even I want the truth to come out," Mr Yadav had said when asked by NDTV on the missing minister.
(with additional inputs from PTI)