Cong demands minister's resignation over rape case

The Congress on Friday demanded the resignation of Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers Nihalchand Meghwal, a day after a Jaipur district court issued notice to him and 16 others in a three-year-old rape case.

“It is shocking to see how a person, who is accused of such a heinous crime, can continue as a minister. The Mahila Congress will raise the issue strongly,” AICC general secretary Ambika Soni told reporters here.

Mahila Congress president Shobha Oza said it was unfortunate that a minister facing such charges continued to be in the government even when incidents of rapes and gang-rapes have “disturbed the soul of the country”.

BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh rejected the Congress demand saying the then Rajasthan government headed by  Ashok Gehlot had given Meghwal a clean chit.
Keeping up the pressure, Oza said the minister has no moral right to continue in office in the wake of such heinous charges.

“He should be removed so that the trial of the case is not affected. The prime minister should give an assurance regarding this. We condemn it strongly and demand the resignation of the minister,” she said.

Oza wondered whether women of the country had voted for Modi to witness “such good days”.

In 2011, a woman had filed a first information report in a Jaipur police station alleging sexual exploitation by Meghwal and 16 others, including her husband. After investigation, the police closed the case in 2012 as it had found the charges to be false and fabricated.

Last year, the woman moved the court challenging the closure report which in turn issued notices to all the 17 on Thursday asking them to respond by August 20.

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