“They were in slumber like ‘Kumbhakarna’, but now their eyes have opened, because there are assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and some other states and they knew it well that Dalits were not going to vote for them. Thus, the Prime Minister’s statement was aimed at winning Dalit votes. The statements were “notorious” (shsraratpurn) and politically motivated,” Mayawati told reporters outside Parliament.
“We have been demanding a statement from Prime Minister Modi in Parliament against atrocities on Dalits across the country. But he could not muster his confidence to make a statement in the House, and thus, he made statements outside,” said the BSP chief taking strong exception to the Prime Minister’s statements at the TownHall meeting in Delhi and BJP workers’ meeting in Hyderabad.
“Two years on, since this government came to power at the Centre; and for the past two years, first, people of the Muslim community were targeted in the name of cow protection, and now Dalits are being targeted. Dalits are being targeted one pretext or another, as the case of Rohith Vemula is before you. But the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central Government, especially Prime Minister Modi, remained silent for the past two years,” she said criticising silence maintained by the Prime Minister after lynching of 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadari and suicide committed by research scholar Rohith Vemula on the Hyderabad University premises.
Asking Prime Minister Modi to act stringently against perpetrators of Dalit atrocities, Mayawati said, “Dalits, who are subjected to atrocities across the country, don’t need sympathies of the BJP, the Centre and the Prime Minister; they want strict action against people involved in their atrocities.”
When asked about former BSP MLA Swami Prasad Maurya joining the BJP, she said she doesn’t want to waste her time and energy by commenting on such people.
In an unusual expression of solidarity with the Dalit community that faced the wrath of so-called ‘cow protectors’ in Gujarat recently, Prime Minister Modi on Sunday went hammer and thongs at them, saying if they want to shoot, they should shoot him, but not his Dalit brothers.
“People who think they control Dalits could not digest the fact that Dalit people getting to know about the BJP’s good work and that is why they are in tizzy. They are indulging in raising issues using Dalits. I want to tell those people that if they have any problem, they should attack me, but stop attacking my Dalit brothers. If you want to shoot, shoot me, but don’t shoot my Dalit brothers,” said the Prime Minister, while addressing a Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Karyakarta Maha Sammelanam’ here.
The Prime Minister further said, “Politics of breaking the society is not good for the country and discrimination among human beings is not acceptable to us. Shanti, Ekta, Sadbhavana are central to the progress of the nation. We have to protect the marginalised and the Dalits. It is our duty.”