Congress on Friday stepped up attack on the government seeking the resignation of Union Minister Nihalchand after a Rajasthan court asked him and 16 others to appear before it on August 20 in connection with a case of alleged rape.
The party also questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has "failed" to take action against the minister even when one one of the planks of his campaign in Lok Sabha election was women's security. "It is shocking to see how a person, who is accused of such a heinous crime, can continue as a minister. Mahila Congress will raise the issue strongly," senior party leader Ambika Soni said.
Party spokesperson and Mahila Congress chief Shobha Oza asked why Modi did not take action against the minister even as more than 24 hours have passed since the court order.
She said it was unfortunate that a minister facing such charges continued in the government even when incidents and rapes and gang-rapes across the country have "disturbed the soul of the country"."In such times, the court giving a notice to a minister on such charges and then no action is taken against him is very shameful. Why did Modi fail to act against his minister even as 24 hours have passed? Why did he not ensure the resignation of the minister so far? That raises a question mark.
"After such serious charges, the minister has no moral right to continue in office. He should be removed so that the trial of the case is not affected. The Prime Minister should give an assurance regarding this. Otherwise his claims will be exposed. We condemn it strongly and demand the resignation of the minister,"Oza said.
Oza also asked whether women of the country have voted for Modi for "such good days".
Rajasthan PCC President Sachin Pilot had yesterdaty said the Minister had a "moral obligation" to resign after he was asked to appear before the court.
Nihalchand, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertiliser, is the only Bharatiya Janata Patry MP from Rajasthan who was included in Narendra Modi ministry.