Law and order was taken care of immediately, Vasundhara Raje tells NDTV
Mob-lynching is murder and should be looked at like a crime that needs to be punished, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje says of incidents that have posed a big challenge to her government. Speaking to NDTV as she campaigns for re-election in the Friday election in the state, Ms Raje also said she didn't have any regrets, that there is nothing she would have done differently.
Her comment on mob killings coincides with an incident in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, where a police inspector was killed last evening by a mob demanding action after 25 cow carcasses were found in the forests near a village in Bulandshahr.
"Lynchings are like murder, which is not a good thing. None of it is a good thing. I don't think we should look at it as a separate or a special matter. It is a murder and if something like that happens then it's a law and order problem and it has to be judged by how it was taken care of," Vasundhara Raje told NDTV's Prannoy Roy.
Over the past two years, there have been more than one such mob attack by cow vigilantes in Alwar town. Pehlu Khan was murdered in 2017 and this year, Rakbar Khan died in custody, both over allegations of cattle smuggling.
Defending her administration, which has been accused of going easy on the attackers rather than those targeted by the mobs, Mr Raje said: "Law and order was taken care of immediately."
Isn't it more than just murder, with a religious or hate aspect, the Chief Minister was asked. "Yes, but it's a crime and I would like to look at it, in fact it is meant to looked at that way because anyone who commits a crime like that is meant to be punished and has been punished," she said.
Asked to share her regrets or concerns, the Chief Minister said: "I am not worried or unhappy about anything. We've gone according to programme, I mean we should be able to make a good statement."
She was asked to comment on her party boss, BJP president Amit Shah, saying that her work had not been publicized. "…it's true…The fact is that we have worked doggedly for five years. But honestly there is a failure, as far as I am concerned. I am not a great PR person."
The chief minister emphasized that the BJP would end Rajasthan's tradition of oscillating between the two main rivals, the BJP and Congress, every five years, by winning a second straight term.
Results will be declared next Tuesday after voting for a new 200-seat Rajasthan assembly takes place on Friday.