Congress, BJP dodge Kurien's role in rape case

The Congress is in a bind over a decade-old sexual assault case, which has recently resurfaced to haunt Deputy-Chairman of the Rajya Sabha P J Kurien.

Though the Left leaders have strongly criticised Kurien, the Congress and BJP have shirked from taking a stand on the issue.

“As it is totally a state issue, the Congress at the Centre will not react to it. Besides, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has already issued a statement, alleging that it was a conspiracy hatched by political opponents,” said Congress spokesperson P C Chacko.

Embarrassed by the turn of events, Congress leaders perhaps know that the issue cannot be ignored for long.

Admitting that Kurien will definitely face discomfiture when the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013, comes up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha, party mandarins are now awaiting the BJP’s move on the issue. “As long as the principal opposition party does not demand Kurien’s resignation, we can afford to turn the other way on the issue,” party sources said. Speaking on the issue, Murli Manohar Joshi of the BJP said it was a matter between an individual and a state and the aggrieved party has the right to seek legal recourse.

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