Launching a scathing attack on the Congress-led Opposition in the run-up to the 17 July presidential election, the Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari on Friday accused the Congress of making their presidential candidate Meira Kumar a "scapegoat" in the election.
Asked about the upcoming presidential contest between the two senior Dalit leaders ~ the ruling BJP-led NDA's presidential candidate Ramnath Kovind and the Opposition's nominee Meira Kumar ~ Tiwari alleged: "Congress has ruled this country for more than 60 years but why they only remember Dalits at the time of elections. By making her the scapegoat, the Opposition has not only insulted the veteran leader Kumar but also Dalits and 'Bihar ki betis (Bihar's daughters)' as well."
The former Lok Sabha Speaker Kumar has been a veteran Congress leader from Bihar.
Tiwari was speaking to The Statesman on the sidelines of "Celebrating Vivaah", a textile exhibition for supporting weavers and artists, here.
Indicating that Kumar will lose the election, Tiwari said the Congress should have thought of making 'Bihar ki beti' a winnner, but they always end up leaving the downtrodden Dalits at the losing end.
On the AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's support to Kumar's candidature, Tiwari charged, "It is because of Kejrwal's negative and irresponsible politics that even the Opposition had not asked him for his support. He is completely sidelined."
Caught in the political tussle between the AAP and the BJP, the people of Delhi had a tough time coping with the monsoons during 2016 when the national capital had virtually become a massive "garbage dump" due to non-payment of salaries to the sanitation workers of the Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs) and their consequent strike.
Asked for his comments on this issue, given that MCDs are ruled by the BJP, Tiwari said, "Delhi MCDs receive only 5% share of Delhi's overall budget, so how can AAP accuse us of running away from our responsibilities. A government which enjoys 45,000 crore of Delhi's budget is more accountable towards Delhi's problems. It is an old habit of AAP of escaping from its own responsibilities."
He said he ws satisfied with MCDs' efforts to curb diseases like malaria and chikungunya in the capital.