Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar 5 : Downplaying reports of a non-bailable warrant issued against rape-accused Uttar Pradesh Minister Gayatri Prajapati, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday dubbed the entire episode as hoax and said all this hysteria has been created by the Akhilesh Yadav-led government to fool the people.
Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said Akhilesh has yet not sacked Prajapati from his ministerial post, adding the latter is contesting the assembly polls despite facing serious accusations of rape.
"All of it is drama staged by the Akhilesh government. After a case was registered against him (Prajapati), he was seen roaming around the Chief Minister. He is fighting the elections. What does the Akhilesh government wants to prove by issuing a non-bailable warrant against Prajapati?" asked Maurya.
"He is the part of Akhilesh's Cabinet. He has not been removed from his ministerial post. He was hiding at the Chief Minister's residence for two days then was shifted to another place. The police has not able to arrest him. If he absconds from the country, I will hold Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav responsible for it," he added.
The Uttar Pradesh Police yesterday issued non-bailable warrants against Prajapati and six others in connection with the rape charges.
Prajapati's passport has been revoked for four weeks to prevent him from attempting to flee the country.
Earlier this week, the police also initiated proceedings for a look out notice against Prajapati following reports that he may try to escape abroad to evade arrest.
Earlier on February 20, Prajapati moved the Supreme Court against its order of registering an FIR against him in connection with a gang-rape and sexual harassment case.
Prajapati also sought protection from arrest and recall of the apex court's earlier order. The apex court had earlier directed the Uttar Pradesh Police to file a status report in the case within a period of eight weeks.
A 35-year-old woman had accused Prajapati of raping her when she met him three years ago. He is also accused of taking obscene photos of the victim and threatening her to make the photos public and raping her for the past two years.
However, Prajapati claimed it to be a conspiracy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in order to distract people's attention from the assembly polls.
"It is a conspiracy against me. I don't even know who the lady is. Since the government has ordered such probe, I would accept it gladly," Prajapati told ANI. The woman, who hails from Chitrakoot, alleged that she was raped by Prajapati and others for two years on the pretext of getting a position within the Samajwadi Party.
Earlier, the woman had moved the apex court after the Uttar Pradesh Police did not register the FIR, following which the men in uniform were ordered to file a status report in the matter within eight weeks.