Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and her government have come in for criticism from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, which said it has the "most dismal record in tackling atrocities against Dalits".
Commission chairman Buta Singh said the Mayawati government's move to arrest Congress leader Rita Joshi Bahuguna for her remarks against Mayawati was "a little far-fetched".
"Uttar Pradesh ranks number one in the number of atrocities against Scheduled Castes," Buta Singh, former Union Home Minister and Bihar Governor, said. He was responding to questions on whether the Uttar Pradesh government was right in using provisions of the SC/ST Act against Joshi for the remarks.
"Rita Bahuguna Joshi had merely made a public speech as a Congress leader. She has since apologized for her remarks," he said.
However, he said that the commission could not intervene in the case slapped against Joshi.
Buta Singh accused the Mayawati government of "tampering with and diluting provisions of central legislations" which are designed to protect Scheduled Castes against atrocities.