Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday questioned the pro-Dalit credentials of Opposition parties, including the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party. Speaking to mediapersons on Saturday, Paswan hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the passage of The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill in Parliament.
“I want to ask Rahul Gandhi…, why did his party stand against Dalit icon B R Ambedkar when he contested Lok Sabha elections twice? Why there was no portrait of Ambedkar in ParliRament’s Central Hall when there were portraits of three members of the Nehru family? Why did his party not award Ambedkar with Bharat Ratna when it was in power?” Paswan asked.
Expressing gratitude to the Prime Minister for passing the Bill, Paswan said, “We were confident that the Bill would be passed. But we were not sure that a Cabinet meeting would be called during Parliament session and the Bill will be subsequently passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. I want to ask Opposition parties why they call us anti-Dalits?”
He accused BSP chief Mayawati of “double standards”, saying her government in UP had issued a guideline in 2007 against misuse of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which required police to register a case only after probing a complaint that was filed under the law. Questioning SP, Paswan said, “When all parties were in favour of a Bill for reservation in promotion, why did SP oppose it? Like all Opposition parties, they are also anti-Dalits and so is the grand alliance.”