Lucknow: A day after a woman Congress worker was assaulted by her colleagues at an event in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria, the Congress Sunday expelled two of its members.
In a statement issued by the Uttar Pradesh Congress, the party also said that a three-member committee has been formed to investigate the incident and a report is likely to be submitted in the next three days.
Congress workers Deendayal Yadav and Ajay Kumar Sainthwar were expelled a day after Tara Yadav was thrashed by party workers for allegedly questioning the candidature of Mukund Bhaskar Mani Tripathi for the upcoming bypolls. Yadav had accused him of being a rapist.
Saturday’s incident took place during an event held to announce Tripathi’s candidature. An altercation had allegedly taken place between Yadav and the Congress’ secretary-in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, Sachin Naik, over Tripathi’s candidature. During the argument, Yadav allegedly hurled a bouquet at Naik and was subsequently thrashed by other workers present at the venue.
Taking cognisance of the incident, the National Commission for Women (NCW) also wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh DGP Hitesh Chandra Awasthi Sunday, asking for strict punishment to the perpetrators.
“At a time when we are advocating that more and more women should be involved in active politics, workers from a major political party are behaving with women just like goons. We have taken full cognisance of this incident in which a woman leader was roughed up by some 25 party workers. This is a serious matter,” NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said in a statement Sunday.
‘Rapist rewarded with party nomination’
In a statement Saturday, Yadav had said, “Congress’ official candidate Mukund Bhaskar Mani Tripathi is a rape accused. Why was he given the ticket? I want that a person with a clean image should be made our candidate,” she had said.
She also said on the one hand Congress leaders were raising demands and fighting for justice of the victim in the Hathras gang-rape case, on the other hand, a “rapist was being rewarded with party nomination”.
“This is a wrong decision and will severely tarnish our party’s image,” she added.
While Yadav remained unavailable for a comment Sunday, Tripathi told ThePrint that allegations made against him were not true and claimed she was disgruntled for not getting a ticket. “The party has given me ticket while keeping my abilities and clean image in mind,” he said.
The by-elections to seven assembly seats are scheduled to take place on 3 November.
Videos of the incident, that were shared extensively on social media, soon led to a political slugfest with BJP leaders targeting the Congress party.
Sharing the clip on Twitter, Union minister Anurag Thakur said, “A woman — attacked and mobbed by Congress leaders, in public, on stage. Where is the ‘Outrage’ ‘Award Wapasi’ ‘Death of Democracy’ and ‘Pseudo Feminist’ gang now? (sic)”
A woman – attacked and mobbed by Congress leaders, in public, on stage.
Where is the
‘Death of Democracy’
and ‘Pseudo Feminist’ gang now?
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) October 11, 2020
UP BJP spokesperson Shalabh Mani Tripathi also tweeted the video saying, “This has always been the condition of women in the Tandoor Party…”
तंदूर पार्टी में महिलाओं की हमेशा से यही हालत रही है,चौतरफ़ा कांग्रेसियों की भीड़ भेड़ियों की तरह घेर कर एक बेचारी अबला को बुरी तरह पीट रही,पिटाई का एक हिस्सा तो इतना बर्बर है कि उसका वीडियो भी नहीं डाल सकते, @priyankagandhi जी, यदि तरस आए तो एक शब्द बोल दीजिएगा इस अबला के लिए !! pic.twitter.com/1Z4NdCK39B
— Shalabh Mani Tripathi (@shalabhmani) October 10, 2020
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, meanwhile, said, “When a woman activist objected against giving tickets to the rapist accused, Congress leaders in Deoria beat her up badly.”
जब बलात्कर आरोपी को टिकट देने के विरुद्ध एक महिला कार्यकर्ता ने आपत्ति जताई तो देवरिया में कांग्रेस के नेताओं ने जमकर उनकी पिटाई कर दी।@NCWIndia को इस मामले को संज्ञान में लेते हुए आरोपियों के ख़िलाफ़ सख्त कार्यवाही करनी चाहिए। pic.twitter.com/21LjTV5tYV
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) October 11, 2020