Bhopal: In a continued attack on BJP-led government, Udit Raj on Monday slammed the Centre for its “ignorance” towards the interests of Dalits and tribals and questioned President Ram Nath Kovind for remaining silent on the issue.
The incumbent MP from North West Delhi, Udit Raj had joined Congress last month after BJP denied him a ticket. At the time, Raj had vociferously spoken against the saffron party’s “anti-Dalit” agenda and said that the party had chosen Ram Nath Kovind as President because ‘he kept quiet’ over Dalit issues.
In an interaction with the media in Bhopal, the recent Congress joinee said that the BJP seeks out Dalit leaders who are “deaf and mute”.
The MP once again termed the BJP as anti-Dalit and said that the Centre did not pursue the SC/ST Atrocities issues in the right way in Supreme Court, which eventually led to an increase in sectarianism. The Dalit leader said that instead of stressing on an equitable society, the BJP would instead propagate the notion of social harmony (or samrasta), which spelt the prevalence of the caste-based status quo.
The MP said that during his time in the BJP he had openly raised his voice against this and also the atrocities being done on Christian community and slammed the party over its “double standards” on Sabarimala row and Triple Talaq ban.
“If the temples are run by traditions, then Islam is also governed by traditions,” he said.
The Congress member also said that the BJP’s intention was to get Dalit votes but not Dalit leaders.
On Tuesday, the MP said that his criticism wasn’t purported to raise questions on the President’s office but was against his fellow Dalit – Ram Nath Kovind, who he said has remained silent about issues involving his community.
The issues he highlighted included BJP ministers threating to destroy the constitution, rampant privatisation and lack of Dalit representation among the 38 Vice Chancellors and 500 judges who were appointed.
“What did the president do in all this,” he said.
He also claimed that the BJP government had revoked land allotment to 3.5 lakh tribal families after coming to power. “Now the tribal community need to settle their scores with them.”
Highlighting that he had been given the best MP award, Raj blamed the BJP and said that they wanted to deny him a ticket for this reason.
“Despite being part of the BJP, I had supported the April 2 Dalit Mahabandh and also helped out the community in Gwalior– Chambal region when action was initiated against them after the stir,” the MP said.
He blamed the BJP for heightening the caste struggle in the country and said that things would now take time to normalise.
Raj further lauded the previous Digvijaya Singh government in the state for promoting entrepreneurship among Dalits. “The BJP during their 15 year rule here never recruited Dalits in government jobs,” he alleged.