The BJP on Saturday asserted itself as the only party that was concerned for the welfare of Dalits while the BSP and SP were exploiting the community as their vote bank.
“We help them and work for their welfare, not their votes. We work to bring them into mainstream society, at par with others,” said the party’s state President Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Maurya was addressing the inaugural session of the BJP’s state executive committee meeting in Jhansi. He said that despite coming third in the 2012 elections, BJP was playing the role of the main opposition party in Uttar Pradesh. “BSP is the main opposition party and it did not execute its responsibility. The BSP chief gets settled in Delhi after polls and only talks to the media. She never interacts with the public,” Maurya said.
The state president said that BSP was being soft towards the SP government and Mayawati spoke to criticise only the BJP-led Centre.
Quoting a National Scheduled Castes Commission report, Maurya said that 6,201 incidents of atrocities on Dalits were recorded in UP in 2012, 7,078 in 2013, 8,066 in 2014 and 8,946 in 2015. He cited the example of an SP leader in Agra who had brutally assaulted a Dalit youth and forced him to drink urine.
“After a non-Dalit girl allegedly eloped with a Dalit youth in Shahjahanpur, 15 people undressed five Dalit women and hit them with belts in public. A temple was washed with Gangajal in Kanpur after a Dalit woman offered prayers there. Another Dalit woman was raped and killed in a paper mill of a BSP MLA in Muzaffarnagar. In SP’s stronghold Mainpuri, a Dalit couple was recently murdered for not paying Rs 15,” he said.
Maurya added that there was a “stampede-like situation” in BSP where leaders were leaving the party leveling allegations of auctioning of tickets. He said there was a “desperation” among SP and BSP leaders to join BJP. “But, our workers need not worry. Protecting the honour of workers is top priority in BJP,” said Maurya, adding that SP, BSP and Congress have always supported each other directly or indirectly.