Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday met BJP president Amit Shah, seeking an ordinance to restore the original provisions of a law on atrocities against Dalits and called for ensuring reservation in promotion for the community. Paswan, a Union minister and a key BJP ally, told PTI that he also raised the issue of special category status for Bihar, a long-standing demand of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, saying that being one of the poorest states it deserved the position.
“Bihar is one of the poorest states. So many states are demanding it. Bihar deserves it,” Paswan said. The Dalit leader was joined by his son and MP Chirag Paswan where they discussed a host of issues, especially related to Bihar, a state which is important to the BJP-led NDA’s overall performance for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In the meeting, Paswan stressed on the need to bring an ordinance to restore the original stringent provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The Supreme Court, in a recent order, had introduced new guidelines which, almost every political party has claimed, dilutes the law and will lead to a rise in crimes against Dalits. The government has moved the apex court for a review. Paswan said he told Shah that the government should bring an ordinance to undo the court’s order and restore the Act’s original provisions.
He also said that the government should move the apex court to remove provisions which have come in the way of giving reservation to SCs and STs in promotion in government jobs. “If required the government should bring an ordinance on this,” he said. Paswan said Shah agreed with his stand on Dalit issues and assured him of positive response.