Deputy Chief Minister Dr Dinesh Sharma on Thursday said that the BJP gave top honour to backwards and Dalits and a “distressed” opposition’s move to “provoke” Dalits against his party would not be successful.
Sharma made the assertion in an interview to the PTI in the wake of country-wide violent protests on Monday against the Supreme Court’s March 20 verdict prohibiting automatic arrests of accused in the cases registered under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The stir had claimed two lives in Uttar Pradesh.
“The BJP is the party which gives top honour to the backwards and Dalits. Our Prime Minister, a backward and President, a Dalit are on the top posts due to the BJP. The opposition is distressed as our party gave top priority to these sections of the society besides working on slogan ‘sabka saath-sabka vikas’ for taking along everyone,” said Sharma.
“Though PM and President should not be related with their castes, its truth that it was BJP which was behind them reaching such positions,” he added.
On the violent protest held recently in UP, Sharma said, “see the past history of Dalits… they cannot be violent… they were never (so).. The opposition’s move to provoke them will not be successful as they know that the BJP is the only party which cared for them.”
Asked if he wanted to say that there was Opposition’s hand behind the agitation, the deputy CM said, “I am not holding anyone responsible for it. It will come in the police probe. But the circumstances and way in which it was done, raises doubts.”
“The BJP is the party which follows Dr Ambedkar’s path to strengthen the weaker sections. The opposition is demoralised after seeing the working of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and Yogi Adityanath’s performance in UP. We got tremendous votes from all sections of the society, which want development,” he said.
Attacking opposition, Sharma said, “When any poll approaches, a lobboy of so called intellectuals and ‘award vapasi’ gang become active. After the polls, they are seen nowhere. Our government is committed to the security of all and Dalits are on the priority.”
“The Congress did not recongise Baba Saheb Ambedkar and it was the BJP which gave Bharat Ratna to him. Till a backward is PM and a Dalit the constitutional head (President) (of the country), no one can work against the interests of Dalits”, the Dy CM added.
He said, “Law and order is top priority of the state government and any attempt to affect it will be dealt with an iron hand.”
During the Dailt protests across the state on Apr 2, two persons were killed, over 70 others, including many policemen, injured while 448 people were arrested.
DIG Praveen Kumar (Law and Order) had accepted during a press conference that “anti-social elements were engaged in the violence during the protests.”
The protesting Dalit groups had claimed that they were against the attempts of the “dilution” of the provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Several towns in western UP saw violence and in Meerut, a former BSP MLA Yogesh Verma, was among those arrested, the police had said.
BSP chief Mayawati had targeted the Centre saying if it had taken prompt steps, there would not have been the need for a Bharat bandh and “some anti-social elements would not have got the chance to indulge in violence and arson because of the government’s laxity”.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had also targeted the Modi government and said, “Dalits have lost faith in the government.”