BJP Gives Ticket To Chandrasinh Raulji, MLA Who Called Bilkis Bano Convicts “Sanskari Brahmins”

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MLA Who Called Bilkis Bano Convicts 'Sanskari' Is BJP Candidate From Godhra

A BJP leader who was involved in the decision to release Bilkis Bano’s rapists and, amid a huge backlash, had described them as “Sanskari Brahmins” is on the list of the ruling party’s candidates for next month’s Gujarat election.

Chandrasinh Raulji, a former Gujarat minister, is the BJP’s candidate from Godhra. He is a six-time MLA from the constituency.

Mr Raulji was part of the Gujarat government committee that unanimously decided to release the 11 men guilty of raping Bilkis Bano and killing nine members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

He had defended the decision with a hugely controversial comment.

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“They were Brahmins and Brahmins are known to have good sanskaar. It might have been someone’s ill intention to corner and punish them,” Mr Raulji was heard telling a reporter from Mojo Story in an interview that was circulated on social media.

He also said the convicts had good conduct while in jail.

The rapists were freed on August 15 Independence Day and welcomed with flowers and sweets by a rightwing group.

“They were Brahmins and Brahmins are known to have good sanskaar. It might have been someone’s ill intention to corner and punish them,” Mr Raulji was heard telling a reporter from Mojo Story in an interview that was circulated on social media.

He also said the convicts had shown good conduct while in jail.

His comments were condemned by several opposition parties. Y Satish Reddy, the social media convenor of Telangana’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, shared the clip and said: “They are Brahmins, Men of Good Sanskaar. Their conduct in jail was good”: BJP MLA #CKRaulji BJP now terms rapists as ‘Men of Good Sanskar’. This is the lowest a party can ever stoop!”

The 11 rapists were freed on August 15 Independence Day and were greeted like heroes with flowers and sweets by a rightwing group.

In the massive outrage over the convicts’ release, the Gujarat government cited “good behaviour” and the Centre’s approval. The Gujarat government’s statement to the court revealed that the Centre had ignored multiple red flags while fast-tracking the release of the convicts.

Chandrasinh Raulji shifted from the Congress to the BJP in August 2017, ahead of the last Gujarat election. He had won as a Congress candidate in 2007 and 2012. After switching to the BJP, he defeated the Congress but with a margin of barely 258 votes.

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