NEW DELHI: The Opposition is raking up Dalit issue and Babasaheb Ambedkar's ideals for political benefits, alleged Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday. His statement came hours after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati claimed that Bharat Bandh called by Dalit groups on April 2 has left the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scared.
Speaking to media persons in the national capital, the Law Minister said that the BJP is working towards the upliftment of the members of Dalits and SC/ST communities. “Our party is working to strengthen the SC/ST Act. This is being opposed by Rahul Gandhi,” said Prasad, adding, “The opposition is indulging in politics in the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar.”
He alleged that the Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP have supported violence and disrupted the peace of the country because a large number of SC/ST/Backward classes and people from economically weaker sections are now choosing to connect with the BJP.
“Babasaheb Ambedkar said that the Dalit movement should never be violent. The rights of Dalits must be protected but the medium cannot be violence,” said Prasad.
Earlier, Mayawati alleged that BJP is indulging in atrocities on members of the Dalit community, with several Dalit leaders and members of their families being arrested by administrations in BJP-ruled states. She also targeted Dalit MPs hailing from the BJP saying members of the community would never forgive them.
Attacking the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre, Mayawati said, “Now things have come to such a phase that Dalits can’t even protest. Dalits are being targeted for protesting and video footage show authorities implicating them deliberately.”
The Bharat Bandh, called by Dalit groups on April 2, had led to a loss of at least 10 lives. The Supreme Court, however, declined to stay its order on the SC/ST Act. On the other hand, the government maintained that it was not responsible for any dilution of the Act and said that it was fully committed to protecting the interests of the backward communities.