New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday targeted the Delhi government over the death row of the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case, and categorically blamed the AAP party for the delay in the hanging of the culprits.

“Why was the prison department, which comes under the AAP government, sleeping after the dismissal of review petition in July 2018? Why did the government give Rs 10,000 and a sewing kit to the juvenile rapist when he was released? Didn’t they see tears of Nirbhaya’s mother?”news agency ANI quoted Irani as saying.

“I want to tell the Aam Aadmi Party that after the rejection of the review petition, because of you the convicts couldn’t be hanged in time. Such parties should be shamed- this is not only my party’s view but also of every law-abiding citizen of the country,” she added.

Later, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted to it, saying that now is not the time to do politics. He opined that both the state and the centre should try to make sure that the convicts are hanged at the earliest.

“Everyone wants that the convicts should be punished soon. This is not the time to do politics. Both Centre and state govt should try to make sure that all processes are completed and the convicts are hanged at the earliest,” Kejriwal said.

“Prakash Javadekar Ji had said something, Smriti Irani Ji also said something else…No good will come from blaming each other. We have to make a system where rapists are hanged within 6 months of the crime,” the Delhi CM asserted.

Earlier in the day, a Delhi court issued a fresh death warrant against the four Nirbhaya case convicts. All the four rapists — Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta will now be executed at 6 am on February 1. This came hours after President Kovind Kovind rejected the mercy plea filed by Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts of the gangrape case. Notably, the execution can take place only 14 days after a decision is taken on mercy plea.