Why is PM Modi silent on atrocities against SCs and STs, asks Rahul Gandhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi kept up the attack on the Centre on Tuesday, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of maintaining silence on atrocities against Dalits and the alleged weakening of a law meant to protect Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Gandhi’s comments came on a day the Supreme Court began hearing the government’s petition asking the court to review its March 20 order that banned immediate arrests under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Protests against the order left nine people dead on Monday.
“Rohit Vemula is murdered. Dalits are beaten up in Una (Gujarat) but the Prime Minister does not speak a word on it. Atrocities on Dalits and tribals are increasing and the SC/ST Act has been diluted. Modi prefers not to speak a word,” the Congress leader said at a poll rally in Shivamogga city.
Karnataka votes on May 12 with counting on May 15. Dalits account for 16% of its population.
Gandhi also referred to BJP chief Amit Shah’s gaffe last week when he called the BS Yeddyurappa government “the most corrupt” during a press conference, a charge he had aimed at chief minister Siddaramaiah. Yeddyurappa is BJP’s CM candidate.
“I am definitely happy that for the first time the BJP has spoken the truth. They spoke from the heart for the first time,” Gandhi said. He also attacked the PM over the leak of CBSE question papers. “Modi wrote a book advising children on tackling exam stress but failed to prevent the leak,” Gandhi said, referring to the PM’s Exam Warriors.
“It seems the RSS (BJP’s ideological mentor) has taught Modi that he should stress more on giving lectures. RSS has taught him to stand, hold stick, wear knickers and speak lies. I think the PM is realising the nation cannot be run with hatred, lathi, speeches and false promises,” he said.
Later in Davanagere city, Gandhi said petroleum prices were $140 a barrel when the United Progressive Alliance government was in power. “While the cost of petrol is decreasing internationally, you are paying more and more. Where is this money going? You are being looted so that this money can be given to the richest people,” Gandhi said.
He said the Centre has failed to enact any pro-people measure during its tenure. “Swachh Bharat, Start-up India, Make In India, bullet train — all failed,” he said.
BJP state spokesperson S Prakash said Gandhi was trying to make too much of Shah’s slip-up. “It was just a slip of tongue and it is immature to make a big issue out of it,” he said and also accusing the Congress president of “politicising” the paper leak.