Outnumbered by the treasury in the Lok Sabha, the opposition launched a spirited attack on the NDA government for its “failure” to prevent atrocities against Dalits and alleged that the deprived sections of the society were living in “deep sense of fear”.
Leading the attack, Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia said BJP’s aim was to “suppress” and “repress” India. He trained guns at the BJP, saying the “fringe” has become the centre and the centre has become the “fringe”. “The government is protecting such elements otherwise it would have taken action against them,” he said.
Accusing the BJP of double standard, he said it leaders oppose reservation and later sympathise with Dalits. He asked the BJP to take a stand based on principle
Scindia said the PM spoke on Dalit atrocities outside the House, but did not break his silence in Parliament. “We talk about Swachh Bharat but it’s our hearts that need to be clean, not the streets… Every 18 minutes, there is a crime against a Dalit. Three Dalit women are raped and two Dalits murdered every day,” he said.
In Uttar Pradesh, he said when a young Dalit girl wanted to use a tube well she was beaten in front of her father. “In Madhya Pradesh, 50 Dalit families have sought permission from the government to commit suicide.”
Participating in the debate Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu and home minister Rajnath Singh asked opposition not to politicise the issue.
Initiating a debate on the issue, CPI(M)’s PK Biju spoke about the poor conditions of Dalits and cited figures to argue that they were denied equal rights despite the Constitution promising all citizens same rights.
BJP’s Udit Raj said no one but the system was responsible for the atrocities on Dalits. “People are encouraged (to attack Dalits) as cases remain pending in courts for years on,” he said.