A day after Punjab Police stopped the BJP from taking out a “Dalit Insaf Yatra”, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Friday accused the saffron party of trying to divide the society on caste lines to promote their political interests.
“The BJP has no moral authority to talk about Dalit rights, which it had been brazenly trampling wherever it is in power. The statistics that show that Uttar Pradesh, under BJP rule, accounts for over 25 per cent of the total cases of atrocities against Scheduled Castes in the country, and had recorded the highest number of such incidents in 2018. Is this your definition of justice for Dalits? Is this what you are offering the SC people of Punjab?” Amarinder asked the BJP.
He said the BJP is indulging in “theatrics” to divert public attention after finding itself totally cornered over the “draconian, anti-farmer and unconstitutional farm laws”.
“They are trying to divide society on caste lines to promote their political interests. I will not let them disturb the peaceful atmosphere of Punjab’s at any cost. These divisive tactics will never succeed in Punjab, whose people are happily living together for their collective progress,” he said, referring to the opposition party’s “attempt” to take out the rally “without due permissions”.
Police on Thursday had stopped the BJP from taking out an rally againsy “injustice” towards Dalits from Jalandhar to the CM’s residence in Chandigarh, saying the organisers did not have permission. BJP state chief Ashwani Sharma was among the party leaders briefly detained.
The CM said the BJP was rattled over the state government’s successful launch of its own scholarship scheme for SC students after the Centre withdrew a similar scheme. “Despite suffering Rs 800 crore in losses due to the anti-Dalit decision of the BJP-led Union government, the cash-strapped Punjab not only introduced BR Ambedkar SC Post-Matric Scholarship scheme for SC students but even expanded its ambit to benefit more youngsters,” Amarinder added.
He said the BJP with only two MLAs in the state assembly is indulging in “desperate measures” to strengthen its presence in Punjab.
The state BJP has been demanding a CBI probe into the scholarship “scam” in which Rs 64 crore was allegedly misappropriated. A three-member panel of IAS officers has exonerated minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, whose name had figured in the alleged scam.
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