SP-BSP Candidate From UP’s Ghosi Accused of Rape, Goes ‘Missing’
In April, the SP-BSP alliance’s Ghosi candidate, Atul Rai, was accused of rape by a college student from Varanasi.
In April, the SP-BSP alliance’s Ghosi candidate, Atul Rai, was accused of rape by a college student from Varanasi.(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

SP-BSP Candidate From UP’s Ghosi Accused of Rape, Goes ‘Missing’

The SP-BSP alliance is in a quagmire. Its Lok Sabha candidate for Uttar Pradesh’s Ghosi, BSP’s Atul Rai, is nowhere to be seen.

Rai, facing rape charges – with his anticipatory bail plea rejected ahead of the elections – is absconding, The Indian Express reported.

BSP’s district in-charge for Mau, Lalit Kumar Akela, on being asked about Rai’s whereabouts, said, as per the report: “There is no point asking me. But his absence is not going to make any difference. Our voters are committed.”

In April, Rai was accused of rape by a college student from Varanasi, who had alleged that he took her home under the pretext of meeting his wife but then assaulted her.

Though Rai had denied the charges, a case had been registered against him on 1 May. He went ‘missing’ soon after.

Also Read : Daily Dispatch: Will SP-BSP-RLD Mahagathbandhan Defeat the BJP?

SP-BSP Confident of its Caste Arithmetic

Ghosi is a caste-dominated, politically important seat, that has elected several stalwarts in the past – such as Kalpnath Rai and Mukhtar Ansari.

Both of these stalwarts had been elected from the constituency in 1996 and 2017 respectively, while they were in jail.

But the ‘grand alliance’ is not worried, for its caste calculations purportedly hold true, even in the absence of its candidate.

Akela is confident that the alliance's caste arithmetic will get Rai through, the Indian Express report added.

The constituency comprises an estimated 3.5 lakh Jatavs (Dalit), 3.5 lakh Muslims, 2 lakh Yadavs (OBC), 1.2 lakh Rajbhars (OBC), 1 lakh Nonias (OBC) and 80,000 non-Jatav Dalits, among other castes, apart from around 4 lakh upper caste voters.

Voting for the Lok Sabha elections began on 11 April and will end on 19 May, the seventh and last phase of voting. Results will be declared on 23 May.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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