With several Dalit groups protesting against the atrocities inflicted on the community, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the issue in Parliament. The recent incident of public flogging of Dalit youth in Gujarat by a cow vigilante group had snowballed into a major controversy pushing the ruling BJP on a defensive.
Speaking to reporters outside Parliament on Thursday, the former four-time Uttar Pradesh chief minister alleged that the recent statements of the Prime Minister on dalits were an exercise in “damage control”.
“Our party wants that rather than expressing sympathy with dalits, the Prime Minister should focus on acting against those who commit atrocities against them,” Mayawati said.
Reacting to the string of recent attacks on the Dalits by cow vigilante group, PM Modi had flayed the alleged cow vigilante groups, urging the state governments of taking strict action against those violating law and order in the name of protecting cows.
“I would like to tell all countrymen that they beware of these fake cow protectors. These handful people must not be allowed to destroy your good work for their vested interest,” Prime Minister Modi had said lashing at the vigilante groups earlier this week.
Meanwhile, Mayawati also claimed that incidents like the Rohith Vemula episode — the Dalit scholar of Hyderabad Central University who commintted suicide earlier this year due to alleged harrassment by the university authorities, the Una attack on youths and other atrocities have affected BJP’s image ahead of UP elections, where numerically strong Dalit community plays a crucial role in tilting the electoral scales.
Demanding that PM Modi speak on the issue in Parliament, Mayawati added, “If he can speak on it outside, he can also say it in the House.”
Besides attack on Dalits, extremely abusive remarks by former BJP leader Dayashankar Singh against Mayawati last month had led to a major uproar. Singh, who was vice president of BJP’s UP unit, has since been expelled from the party.
(With inputs from the Agencies)