Paswan questions Congress, BSP, SP on their Dalit credentials; says BJP has done a lot

Paswan questions Congress, BSP, SP on their Dalit credentials; says BJP has done a lot

New Delhi, Aug 11: Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday charged the political alliance-in-the-making of the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party as being `anti-Dalit' and sought answers from each of the party to several questions raised by him.

Mr. Paswan, who is also the Union Minister for Food and Consumers Affairs, is on a thanksgiving spree for steps taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Chief Amit Shah for getting passed in the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament, the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Bill and the Bill giving Constitutional status to National Commission to Backward Class, held yet another press conference here on Saturday for the same purpose.

Accusing the Congress of neglecting Dr BR Ambedkar during all of the 55 years that it was in power, Mr Paswan said not only that the party ensured his defeat in Lok Sabha polls every time he contested.

He said there were three portraits of members of the Nehru-Gandhi family in Parliament but none of Dr Ambedkar.

“The party that swears by Dalit empathy did not even honour Ambedkar with Bharat Ratna during its rule and did not honour any of the places he was associated with,' he said.

Accusing the Congress for not allowing in Parliament the Bill for giving reservation to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes in jobs, Mr Paswan said that the party president Rahul Gandhi should answer these questions.

Mr Paswan also lashed out against BSP supremo Mayawati and charged her with using Dalits for `vote bank politics’.

He accused her of tinkering with the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities law in 2007 when she was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh through an office order that stated that only after a senior officer gave assent would a case be lodged against a rape accused and only if a victim’s medical examination proved, would a rape case be registered.

He also questioned Ms. Mayawati’s silence on the `dilution’ of the law for Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST by the Supreme Court.

Taking on the Samajwadi Party, Mr Paswan said that when all parties had favoured reservation for SC/STs in job promotions, the Mulayam Singh party had opposed it and disrupted Parliament on the issue.

On the other hand, he said, the BJP had done a lot more for Dalits besides the Prevention of Atrocities and Constitutional Commission for Backward Class Bills passed in the monsoon session of Parliament.

“All government's schemes are for `power to the poor',' he said.

The LJP will organize programmes all over the country on the issue and will hold a huge function in Patna on Sunday to thank the Prime Minister, he said. (UNI)