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Congress joins ‘crime’ chorus

New Delhi, Nov. 22: The Congress today said it followed a policy of “zero tolerance” on exploitation of or atrocities on women, denying the BJP’s charge that it was taking a soft stand on the Tehelka scandal because of Tarun Tejpal’s perceived proximity to the party.

“We welcome the case filed by the Goa government. Nobody is above the law,” Mahila Congress president Shobha Oza told a news conference here this afternoon.

“I was the first person to condemn the incident and demand action. I wish even the Gujarat government had taken action like the Goa government in the case of snooping involving Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. The BJP’s double standard is showing.”

Oza had yesterday said: “It is very unfortunate that people whom society looks up to with a lot of respect for direction are involved in such issues…. An investigation should be conducted and the law should take its own course.”

Referring to Tejpal’s decision to step aside for six months to do “penance”, she today said: “How can a culprit decide his punishment? We have a law in this country and that established law should take its course.”

She added: “Just because a victim does not file a police complaint does not mean that a crime has not happened. The issue has come into the public domain. The police suo motu can take action. There should be zero tolerance in cases of atrocities against women.”

Party spokesperson Meem Afzal said: “Anyone found guilty of such an offence, action should be initiated against him.”

The BJP had yesterday accused the Congress of protecting Tejpal. Congress leaders had indeed received the news of the allegations with deep shock as Tejpal is known for his anti-BJP credentials and most of Tehelka’s purported exposes have hurt the BJP.

Arun Jaitley had yesterday taunted usually vocal Congress leaders like Manish Tewari and Kapil Sibal for their silence but they continued to remain mum today.

Even those active on Twitter, like Digvijaya Singh and Shakeel Ahmed, went on attacking Modi rather than comment on the allegations against Tejpal.