The advertisement also has pictures of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Rape accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar may have been expelled from the BJP but he found a prominent place along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an advertisement by a party leader on the occasion of Independence Day.
In the advertisement that appeared in the local edition of a leading daily, Ungu Nagar Panchayat chairman Anuj Kumar Dixit used the picture of the Bangarmau legislator and his wife Sangeeta Singh Sengar, who is the chairman of the zila panchayat.
Ungu falls under the the Bangarmau assembly segment and it was Mr. Sengar who had reportedly brought Mr. Dixit into the BJP fold.
The advertisement also has pictures of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, State BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh and Uttar Pradesh Assembly Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit.
Mr. Dixit, when approached by the media, defended himself for using Mr. Sengar’s picture. He said, “It is there as he is the MLA of our area.”
The BJP has distanced itself from the controversy.
Party spokesperson Shalabhmani Tripathi said, “It might have been someone’s personal choice to give Sengar’s photograph. It has nothing to do with the party or the State government.”
“Whatever had to be done by the party or by the government, has been done. We have no sympathy for Sengar,” he told PTI in Lucknow.
Unnao rape accused shares ad space with PM Modi
The advertisement is being seen as a fresh embarrassment to the BJP, days after its Hardoi legislator Ashish Singh Ashu sympathised with Mr. Sengar.
Mr. Sengar, who has been in jail for a year now, was expelled by the BJP after the Central Bureau of Investigation registered an FIR against him in connection with an accident involving the Unnao rape victim in July.
Two aunts of the rape victim were killed in the accident while she, along with her lawyer, was seriously injured.
Mr. Sengar is accused of raping the girl, who was 17-years-old at the time of the incident, at his residence in Unnao in 2017.
A case was registered after she tried to immolate herself outside the residence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in April last year. And a dar after, her father died in police custody.
After the Supreme Court took notice of the letter written by the victim’s family expressing apprehensions over their security, Mr. Sengar was shifted to the Tihar Jail and the victim was sent to AIIMS, New Delhi, for better treatment.
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