New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) The Congress today accused the BJP of viewing the Kathua and Unnao rape cases through the “prism of religion” and demanded sacking of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi noted that the Kathua and Unnao incidents cannot be termed as “normal cases” and said these have shamed the nation.

The BJP cannot belittle the fight of women for equality and dignity, the party said.

Singhivi also criticised BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi for saying she has chosen to look at incidents such as the Kathua and Unnao cases through the “prism of religion”.

“I strongly condemn the party, which sees even rape on religious and class lines. The person, the party, and the government that looks at rape through the prism of class and religion, has to be criticised,” he said, adding it shows the BJP’s “regressive mindset.

The Congress on Twitter said, “BJP’s MP Meenakshi Lekhi’s insensitive remark is an insult to Indian citizens standing up for their rights. Her statement reflects her party’s regressive ideology. She must take back her words and apologize immediately.” In national interest, it is important to criticise incidents like the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, which have “shook the head of the entire nation in shame”, he said.

Questioning the silence of Modi, Singhvi said, “The prime minister, Uttar Pradesh chief minister (Yogi Adityanath) and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister (Mehbooba Mufti) have to speak the truth and the time has arrived for that.” “It is time three people spoke compassionately, they are the prime minister, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Post Unnao-Kathua, the collective conscience of the nation has been shaken, but nothing seems to shake the conscience of Modi, Singhvi said.

“Belated lip-service, damage control actions and downright whataboutery indulged by the BJP cannot absolve it from its sins!” he tweeted.

He said the Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir unit was consistently raising its voice against the perpetrators and seeking justice for the victim.

Singhvi demanded sacking of BJP Forest Minister Lal Singh and Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga in Jammu and Kashmir, who he alleged instigated the protests in Jammu in support of the accused rapists.

“It is high time, the prime minister speaks on the issue. Uttar Pradesh chief minister should be sacked and the two BJP ministers (in J-K) should be dismissed forthwith, in order to provide some justice to the victims,” he said.

Criticising the government’s claim of amending the POCSO Act to grant death penalty to rape convicts, he said, “Suddenly the Modi government is talking about reforms in the POCSO Act? Did it not know this for the last four years.” He also criticised the UP government for not arresting accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and asked whether it was true that the lawmaker would have not been taken into custody had the Allahabad High Court not used harsh words.

Singhvi also took a swipe at BJP women ministers, who he claimed had as opposition members made critical remarks against the then UPA government.

“Where are those women BJP leaders now. Where are the BJP’s fierce, vocal women leaders? Where are their tweets? If not anything, let them share some crocodile tears, give some clarification,” he said.

The party also tweeted, “The BJP must be told that it cannot belittle the fight of women for equality and dignity, simply because its ideological mentor, the RSS, does not believe in these ideas.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.