Workers of the Indian National Congress (INC) in Uttar Pradesh today thrashed a woman colleague at an internal meeting of the party after she objected to the nomination of the party candidate from Deoria, saying he is a accused in a case of rape. “On the one hand, our party leaders are fighting for justice for the Hathras woman, and on the other hand, party ticket is being given to a rapist. It is a wrong decision. It will malign the image of our party,” Tara Devi Yadav said.
Videos show the Pradesh Congress workers, a group of men, punching and pushing Tara Devi around. A couple of fellow party men then rescued the much-heckled woman and led her away.
In her complaint to the police, Tara Devi has named INC’s district president Dharmendra Singh, vice president Ajay Singh and two others for the attack. She has accused them also of abusing and molesting her.
The Townhall for the by-polls is being held in Deoria, where the INC named Mukund Bhaskar as the candidate for the seat which was left vacant after the death of BJP MLA Janmejay Singh.
Bhaskar’s lobby alleges that Tara Devi — who came to the meet with three other women party workers — threw a bouquet at the party’s national secretary Sachin Nayak. Soon a fight ensued and some men hit Tara Devi Yadav.
“We wanted the party to reconsider its decision,” Tara Devi said, “I didn’t hit Sachin Nayak. I just wanted to ask why the party nominated a rapist. Now I also want to know why they manhandled me.”
Ticket to ‘rapist’ dilutes INC’s Hathras politics
The attack follows the alleged gang-rape and brutalisation of a 20-year-old woman in Hathras, which has evoked outrage across the country that is divided along the lines of two theories: that this was an example of persecution of Dalits by the caste of the alleged rapist and that the victim’s family killed her for ‘honour’ for having a relationship with a man from a different caste.
The scene of the assault in the Pradesh Congress office on Tara Devi Yadav, who is both a woman and an OBC, raises questions on the respect the party has for women and so-called lower castes even as the INC has been on the forefront of the attack on Yogi Adiyanath government over the police handling of the case.
Union minister Hardeep Puri today targetted the INC over the attack on Tara Devi. “When a woman worker objected to the fielding of a rape accused Congress leaders thrashed her. The NCW (National Commission of Women) should take note of this incident and ensure that the accused get strong punishment,” his Hindi tweet, roughly translated, reads.
“How all these sick minded people come in politics? Will be taking cognizance,” tweeted National Women’s Commission chief Rekha Sharma.