Accusing the BJP of spreading hatred in the name of “Hindu-Muslim, Bharat-Pakistan, Mandir-Masjid” and “diverting funds of the country into construction of statues and temples”, Dalit BJP MP from Bahraich Savitribai Phule resigned from the party’s primary membership on Thursday. She also alleged that BJP was giving patronage to those working against SCs, STs, backward classes and minorities, especially Muslims, and creating a divide in the society.
“Main aahat ho kar… Ambedkar ji ke parinirwan ke din… 1992 ki smriti mein, manuvadiyon dwara Muslim, Dalit, pichhdon ko aahat karte hue Babari masjid gira diya gaya…1992 ki jaisi sthiti paida kar samaj mein vibhajan karne ki sthiti paida ki ja rahi hai…is liye BJP ki prathmik sadasyata se isthifa de rahi hun, (on the day of Ambedkar’s demise and in the memory of 1992 when Babari masjid was demolished, hurting the Muslims, Dalits and Backwards. A situation like 1992 is being created to divide the society. Hence, I am resigning from the primary membership of the BJP),” declared Phule, citing 18 reasons for her resignation.
Phule said she has been hearing both in Parliament and outside of BJP MPs, ministers as well as the RSS chief talking about changing the Constitution. She said that she wanted to tell the masses on “Parinirvan diwas of Ambedkar (Ambedkar’s death anniversary)” that the BJP government, instead of working for the benefit of “Bahujans”, was giving patronage to those who were “hurting Bahujans and Muslims”.
Claiming that she will start a big movement on December 23, Phule listed her reasons for resigning. She said statues of Ambedkar were damaged at different places across the country but no action was taken against the culprits. She further stated that central ministers have spoken about changing the Constitution, but no action was taken against them. She also alleged that all reserved posts were not filled and there is a huge backlog, and added that pension for backwards and SCs needed to be revived. “Instead of protecting the benefits of minorities, they are being harassed,” she said.
She said that names of cities, towns and institutions named after icons of Bahujan or minority communities were being changed and attempts were being made to delete history of minorities. “The country’s money, instead of being used for development, is being used for unnecessary expense like construction of statues or temples,” she said.
In an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Phule said the “theft of resources” of the country took place under the protection of “Bharat ka Chaukidar”. She added that some people wanted to run the country on the lines of Manusmriti.
Responding to Phule’s remarks, BJP state spokesperson Harish Chandra Srivastava said she is becoming a “pawn” in the hands of the Opposition to use against the party, which had treated her with respect and made her an MP.
Explained: Not the best time for BJP to lose a Dalit MP
A Dalit MP’s resignation just months before the Lok Sabha polls may affect the BJP adversely in the eastern part of the state, where it does not have as strong a base as elsewhere. The resignation has also come at a time when BJP leaders are trying to win over Dalits.
This is probably the reason why the party leadership never initiated any disciplinary action or even issued a warning to Savitri Bai Phule as she attacked the state and central governments on various issues over the last six months. She had even started travelling to reserved constituencies and Dalit areas to “expose the BJP for seeking Dalits votes while doing nothing for them”.