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Row over ‘casteist remark’: Opposition guns for Bittu, asks SC panel, Cong high command to act

While SAD filed a complaint against Bittu with the Punjab SC Commission, BSP approached the Bathinda police demanding action against the Congress leader. The BJP said that Congress high command should take action Bittu.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
June 16, 2021 5:37:36 am
Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu.

Opposition parties in Punjab Tuesday lashed out against Congress MP from Ludhiana, Ravneet Singh Bittu, for insulting the Dalit community by purportedly stating that SAD had left “holy seats” of Anandpur Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib for the BSP.

While SAD filed a complaint against Bittu with the Punjab SC Commission, BSP approached the Bathinda police demanding action against the Congress leader. The BJP said that Congress high command should take action Bittu.

In its complaint to the state SC panel, SAD requested the commission to “register a case against the Congress leader for passing casteist remarks against Dalits and hurting the sentiments of the SC community in the state”.

“A SAD delegation, including party legislators Pawan Kumar Tinu, Sukhwinder Sukhi and Baldev Khaira apprised SC Commission chairperson Tejnder Kaur besides its other members about a video of Ravneet Bittu in which he uttered objectionable remarks against the SC community. The delegation demanded that the commission act on the issue immediately to prevent a flare up in the state,” said a SAD spokesperson.

Tinu said the commission assured the SAD delegation that it would take necessary action in the matter.

“We hope the commission will act in the interest of the Dalit community and will not be influenced by the Congress government and give a clean chit to the MP,” he added.

The SAD leader said “Dalit community across the state was shocked at the statement of Ravneet Bittu in which he claimed that the holy seats of Anandpur Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib should not have been given to the BSP under its alliance with the SAD..Our community cannot tolerate this insult. The Guru sahiban preached equality between all castes and this equality is also assured to us under the Constitution. Bittu’s statement had exposed the anti- Dalit mentality of the Congress party.”

SAD said that if the SC panel fails to act, then it will launch a protest against Bittu.

Meanwhile, former Akali Dal ally, the BJP, on Tuesday demanded that Bittu should tender an unconditional apology and the Congress high command should take disciplinary action him. In a statement issued here, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh said it was a “most reprehensible, casteist remark” which “reflected the perverse thinking of the Congress”. He added that while Sikh gurus kept preaching the message of equality, Bittu has “heaped a humiliating insult” to the Scheduled Castes (SC), who “deserve equal respect and place in the state as others”.

“Does Bittu want to say that an SC candidate cannot contest the election from Guru’s seat? Does he want to say that SCs in Punjab respect and worship the Sikh gurus any less?” asked Chugh, adding that the guru’s message of ‘sangat and pangat’ has been ‘ridiculed’ by Bittu by giving such a reprehensible statement.

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