Friday, February 22, 2019
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Rahul says Modi govt 'anti-Dalit', BJP hits back

New Delhi
CONGRESS President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused the Modi government of being anti-Dalit. BJP President Amit Shah hit back saying the Congress must stop treating Dalits with a"patronising and condescending"attitude. "If Modiji had space for Dalits in his heart, then the policies for Dalits would have been different,"Gandhi told a protest rally by Dalits at Jantar Mantar here. He said when Modi was the Gujarat Chief Minister he wrote in a book that"Daliton ko safai karne se anand milta hai"(Dalits feel happy when they do cleaning work)."This is his (Modi's) ideology." Gandhi said the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was brought by the Congress when his father Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister."But that was allowed to be diluted by Modiji. And the judge who diluted the act was given a promotion,"he said, referring to the appointment of Justice AK Goel as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairman Justices Goel and UU Lalit had in a March 20 ruling laid down stringent safeguards, including provisions for anticipatory bail and a"preliminary enquiry"before registration of a case under the act, citing instances of its abuse for political or personal reasons. The ruling angered Dalits. On July 6, Justice Goel retired from the Supreme Court. On the same day, he was appointed the NGT chairman. The government, however, made an amendment to the 1989 act that overturned the Supreme Court ruling and restored the provision for immediate arrest of an accused. The amendment was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday Gandhi said whereever the BJP was in power, Dalits were being"beaten up and suppressed".

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