Discrimination against Dalits in giving Bharat Ratna: Mayawati

  • PTI, Lucknow
  • Updated: Jan 03, 2015 17:08 IST

BSP supremo Mayawati on Saturday charged the NDA government with discriminating against Dalit icons like Kanshi Ram while awarding Bharat Ratna to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Madan Mohan Malviya.

She also attacked the Narendra Modi government for adopting the "ordinance route" on key issues.

"Just like the previous Congress-led UPA government, the NDA government is adopting the same discriminatory attitude while honouring two persons of the same caste - Vajpayee and Malviya - with the Bharat Ratna recently," she told a press conference here.

"Kanshi Ram should have been honoured keeping in mind his sacrifices and contribution. Similarly, Jyotiba Phule, who belonged to a backward caste, should have been given the award for his work in the field of education and efforts to establish equality in society," she said.

"Many other deserving persons have been ignored," she rued.

Taking exception to the Modi government adopting the ordinance route, Mayawati said this was not in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution.

Her remarks came against the backdrop of ordinance amending the Land Acquisition Act envisaging procuring land for industrial corridors, rural infrastructure, defence and housing, and insurance ordinance raising foreign investment limit in the sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent, besides an ordinance to push coal auction.

On the land acquisition ordinance, she said it was against the interest of farmers. "I do not find it right...the amendments could have been brought in the next session of Parliament."

Alleging that the Modi government appeared to be "failing on all fronts", she said interests of capitalists were being safeguarded for which, the BSP leader said, changes were being made in laws, flouting the spirit of the Constitution.

"The Modi government is playing in the hands of capitalists and now they are out to help them as BJP won the elections with their monetary help and by adopting all wrong tactics," she alleged.

Mayawati also criticised the organisations affiliated to BJP, saying they were hatching a conspiracy to spoil the atmosphere by raising the issue of conversion and promising a 'Hindu Rashtra'.

Slamming the Modi government, she said even after being in office for seven months, the NDA was not interested in solving the problems of poor and weaker sections.

"They have also shelved various welfare schemes of the previous governments," she said and warned that this "drama" was not going to last long, especially in Uttar Pradesh.

Mayawati also alleged that as per a conspiracy, the quota for Dalits and backwards was being neutralised by allocating major works to the private sector.

To a question on replacing Planning Commission by a new think-tank, NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), she said government should concentrate on solving problems of the poor and unemployed.

"Changing names will not usher in any change in the country," she said.

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