Uttar Pradesh : The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) MP from Bahraich Savitri Bai Phule accused her own party by attacking the Central and State governments of insulting Dalit icon Ambedkar and raised concerns over saffronisation and vandalism of his statues across the country.
According to reports, the Dalit lawmaker also targeted the government for failing to implement properly the reservation policy for the upliftment of backward classes.
In Lucknow, Phule addressing a press conference she said, “Ambedkar’s statues are being saffronised now. They are being cleaned with milk in a move which is an insult to him. His statues are being vandalised everywhere. Even after I met Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath demanding action against the perpetrators, nothing has been done.”
The MP from Bahraich said, “Sabka saath sabka vikas was promised to the nation but the bahujan samaj[Dalit and backward classes] is constantly being targeted. They were killed during the recent agitation over dilution of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and no compensation was given to them. Despite reservations as per Supreme Court order the bahujansamaj is unemployed. They are also becoming victims of discrimination.”
Phule also added that there has been a rise in atrocities against the Dalits and demanded reservation for Dalits and other backward classes in both government and private jobs.
The BJP MP says, “I held a rally in Lucknow demanding reservation for people of my community. If they don’t get benefits of reservation, I will continue to fight for their rights.
Replying to the allegations made by Phule, UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said that Phule had personal motives and there was no substance in whatever she was saying.
Rakesh Tripathi said, “BJP is the only party to have maximum Dalit lawmakers. The central and state government have started many schemes for the upliftment of Dalits and backward classes. We have ensured that all our schemes reach them on priority.”
Phule’s refusal to lace her criticism of the BJP in diplomatese has been getting her headlines ever since the Supreme Court diluted the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in March. She held a rally on April 1 in Lucknow to demand that the Union government reverse the apex court’s judgement. She spoke out against the incarceration of Dalits who participated in the Bharat bandh of April 2 against the Act’s dilution. She breathed fire as BJP MPs, on Modi’s instruction, took to dining at Dalit homes.
With PTI inputs