Thursday, May 19, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Rahul flip flops on Bhatta-Parsaul facts

Rahul flip flops on Bhatta-Parsaul facts
Pallavi GhoshPallavi Ghosh , CNN-IBN
Updated May 19, 2011 at 07:52am IST

New Delhi/Varanasi: The BSP has slammed Congress General Secretary
Rahul Gandhi for making serious allegations of rape and murder,
without substantiative evidence.

The Congress on Wednesday backtracked on the Bhatta-Parsaul
controversy, claiming Rahul Gandhi was misquoted.

Defending Rahul Gandhi against allegations that he misled the prime
minister by claiming that women had been raped in Bhatta-Parsaul,
Congress leader Salman Khursheed said Rahul went by what the villagers
told him.

"He is not saying that he has evidence. He is just saying what was
reported to him, the photographs that suggested something terribly
wrong and therefore he said this is what the allegation is and please
inquire into it," said Khursheed.

Rahul himself speaking at the Varanasi Conclave of the Congress was
careful not to make any reference to rape or mass killings, but vowed
to take his fight against Mayawati to 'every village'.

Taking the battle right into Mayawati's camp, Rahul Gandhi on Monday
said, "People have been raped, farmers have been killed," while
accusing UP administration of covering up instances of brutality.

After two days of denials and criticism from Mayawati's men, Rahul
remains defiant, though a little more cautious.

"I will continue to fight for the cause of farmers," Rahul Gandhi said
on Wednesday.

So was the deadly political duo of Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh
simply plotting a political masterstroke?

At the Congress Convention in upper caste dominated Varanasi, Rahul's
followers have already started the process to coronate him.

The Congress may have been caught on a backfoot, but it's trying to
overlook it. Rahul was careful not to mention rape in his speech but
Bhatta-Parsaul will be the issue to attack Mayawati till 2012.

"The real issue here is what's happened to the farmers. Footage should
be watched and heard carefully. The media reports are wrong. How the
ashes became corpse we don't know how. We don't know how it became 74
bodies. It's wrong reporting. The matter should be investigated and
his statement is based of feedback he got from the people," said
Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi.

But the BSP is looking at this as its own victory. They allege that
Rahul was simply trying to use the farmers' agitation to position
himself ahead of UP polls in 2012.

"There were atrocities in Bhatta-Parsaul, but Rahul Gandhi had no
rights to defame the women of the village by saying they were raped.
He should have thoroughly checked facts before making statements,"
said BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain.

So the questions remain - on what basis did Rahul Gandhi allege that
women had been raped in Bhatta Parsaul?

Why is the congress asking for CBI probe into Bhatta killings if the
party is not sure of allegations that it's levelling itself?

Why is Mayawati averse to launching a judicial probe if she is sure of
her administration?

For now though, the Congress would simply take heart from the fact
that at least it managed to create an issue, which must have energised
its own cadre in the state.

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