Expelled from the BJP, tainted Bangermau MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar has found a prominent place alongside top party leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an advertisement published in a leading Hindi daily on August 15.
Jailed since last year, Mr. Sengar faces charges of rape and murdering the survivors father.
The full-page ad on the front page of the Unnao edition of the newspaper was published with greetings for Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan.
Though the advertisement does not directly associate Mr. Sengar with the BJP he is only mentioned as MLA Bangermau, district Unnao his picture features prominently alongside that of Mr. Modi.
Mr. Dixit, when approached by the media, defended himself for using Mr. Sengars picture. He said, It is there as he is the MLA of our area.
The BJP has distanced itself from the controversy.
Party spokesperson Shalabhmani Tripathi said, It might have been someones personal choice to give Sengars photograph. It has nothing to do with the party or the State government.
Whatever had to be done by the party or by the government, has been done. We have no sympathy for Sengar, he told PTI in Lucknow.
The advertisement is being seen as a fresh embarrassment to the BJP, days after its Hardoi legislator Ashish Singh Ashu sympathised with Mr. Sengar.
Mr. Sengar, who has been in jail for a year now, was expelled by the BJP after the Central Bureau of Investigation registered an FIR against him in connection with an accident involving the Unnao rape victim in July.
Two aunts of the rape victim were killed in the accident while she, along with her lawyer, was seriously injured.
Mr. Sengar is accused of raping the girl, who was 17-years-old at the time of the incident, at his residence in Unnao in 2017.
A case was registered after she tried to immolate herself outside the residence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in April last year. And a dar after, her father died in police custody.
After the Supreme Court took notice of the letter written by the victims family expressing apprehensions over their security, Mr. Sengar was shifted to the Tihar Jail and the victim was sent to AIIMS, New Delhi, for better treatment.
(With PTI inputs)