The BJP, on Sunday, claimed that it had done more for the Scheduled Castes in four-and-a-half years than the Congress did in 70 years and called upon the workers to counter the propaganda by the Opposition that the party was anti-Dalit. The sentiment was echoed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the party’s Sankalpa rally at the end of the two-day conclave of its Anusuchit Jaati Morcha here. Singh was invited to replace party president Amit Shah who couldn’t come due to health issues.
Addressing a gathering at the Kasturchand Park Ground Singh said, “The Congress did only politics of vote bank in matters of Dalits to grab power but it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who provided benefits of several schemes to Dalits. But the Congress has always tried to mislead the people against us. Time has come to give a fitting reply against such attempts.”
“Modi while entering Parliament first time as PM that his government was dedicated to the welfare of the poor. No other PM said that before him. He brought several schemes for the poor, like Ayushman Bharat that provides free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh. It is unparalleled in the world. Such things are done by only that PM who cares for the poor. Today, India is marching fast to become one of the top three economies in the world by 2030. For all this credit must be given to PM Modi,” Rajnath added.
Singh lauded the contribution of Dalit community to the country saying, “from Maharshi Valmiki’s Ramayana and Maharshi Vyas’s Mahabharat to Ambedkar’s Constitution, Dalits have contributed immensely to the country.”
Gadkari reiterated his inaugural speech at the conclave on Saturday, speaking about how the BJP governments at Center and in State ensured the development of all the places associated with Babasaheb Ambedkar’s life and work into grand memorials and how several schemes for the poor like Awas and Ujwala schemes had mostly benefited SCs and STs. He attacked Congress for defaming the BJP by spreading the rumour that the party was out to destroy the Constitution. “Actually, it was the Congress which attempted it 80 times and during Emergency,” Gadkari said.
Terming the opposition’s proposed Mahagathbandhan as “naapaak” (unsacred), Gadkari alleged that the opposition “was out to trigger riots for their selfish games.”
Gadkari called upon workers to counter the propaganda that the BJP was a communal party. “Let there be a socio-economic audit of caste-wise benefits of our various schemes. Hojane do dudh ka dudh aur pani ka pani.”
The rally was marred by sloganeering by some in the audience, who shouted “vegla Vidarbha zalach pahije” (Vidarbha state must be carved out) as soon as Gadkari rose to speak. Gadkari responded by saying, “these handful of people have been sent by Congress. We have been tackling such people (chamkesh company) all along.” Gadkari and Fadnavis, who had promised separate Vidarbha state, have been evading the issue ever since the BJP has come to power.
Earlier in the day, the conclave passed a political resolution that called for strengthening PM Modi and return him to power. They also appealed to the Center to ensure, among other things to strictly enforce measures to prevent fatal accidents during cleanliness operations undertaken by sanitary workers, use of modern equipment in the operations and suitable compensation to the victims, filling up of vacant posts for the SCs through a concerted campaign, make SCs partners in decision-making, ensure proper representation in the Judiciary which is currently almost nil, implementation of 200-point roster in universities to secure the reservation for SCs and justice to the community members victimized in the non-BJP states.