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PM’s silence on atrocities against Dalits shows BJP’s mindset: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi said BJP and its ally Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wanted Dalits and Adivasis to exist at the bottom rung of the society.

india Updated: May 06, 2018 13:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Dalits,Narendra Modi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses a corner meeting during an election campaign ahead of Karnataka assembly elections at District Haveri in Karnataka.(PTI File Photo)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday questioned Prime Minister’s alleged silence on attacks against Dalits and tribal people ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections.

Gandhi shared a video on Twitter and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wanted Dalits and Adivasis to exist at the bottom rung of the society. The more than two-minute clip cites examples of alleged atrocities, including the flogging of Dalit men in Gujarat’s Una in 2016 and the recent SC/ST markings on the chests of Madyha Pradesh constables during a recruitment exam.

“Why are Dalits constantly prosecuted in Modi’s new India... His silence reflects the mindset of RSS and BJP... Speak-up Mr Modi,” the video said.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah retweeted Gandhi’s video on Twitter, saying: “What Dalits need are not empty outreach strategies like having meals with them. What they need is empowerment with dignity and justice.” The incumbent CM was referring to BJP asking its leaders to reach out to Dalits in the aftermath of nationwide protests in April against the alleged dilution of SC/ST act.

Hours after Gandhi’s tweet, PM Modi hit out at the Congress for “humiliating” BR Ambedkar, a Dalit icon, at a rally in Karnataka. “Go to any part of India, things are named after one family. What did this one family do for Dr Ambedkar? They have no time for him,” he said.

Karnataka goes to polls on May 12 and results will be declared on May 15. The state has 23.5% Dalit population.

First Published: May 06, 2018 13:53 IST