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BJP on backfoot in rape case but stands firm on resignation

Bharatiya Janata Party has found itself on the back foot after P J Kurien in an interview claimed that Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley is convinced of his innocence in the Suryanelli rape case. The party however, did put a brave face and said that it sticks to the demand that Kurien should step down.

'BJP has asked for Kurien's resignation and whatever he may say in his defence he has every right to say that' said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman. The BJP leader had insisted that the fact that BJP is demanding Kurien's resignation explains the party's official stand on the matter and there should be no confusion on the issue.

Kurien had told a newspaper that Jaitley believes he is innocent, ‘Arun Jaitley appeared for me in the court , Jaitley will never say I am guilty because he is absolutely convinced about my innocence,’ said Kurien who later clarified that he has not spoken to Jaitley about the case in recent times.

The party is wary about an embarrassing situation emerging in the Rajya Sabha if Kurien's resignation demand comes up for discussion as some member may raise the issue of Jaitley having fought his case. BJP leaders however, have emphasised that Jaitley had appeared as a counsel for Kurien when he was fighting a defamation case in the matter and he had then not been named in the Suryanelli rape case chargesheet as an accused. Moreover, Jaitley was the counsel in 2006 and since then new facts have come to light in the case.
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