Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a hard jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) over the stamping of castes on the chests of candidates appearing for police constable posts in Madhya Pradesh.

Sharing a photo of two men bearing ‘SC’ and ‘ST’ marks on the upper part of their chests, the 47-year-old Gandhi wrote in Hindi that the incident exposes the “thinking” of the saffron party.

“The BJP government’s casteist attitude has driven a dagger through the chest of the nation. The writing of SC/ST on the chests of the youths in MP is an attack on the constitution,” he said.

“This is the thinking of the BJP/RSS. This is the thought which once forced Dalits to hang a pot around their necks, a broom on their chests, and prevented them from entering temples. We will defeat this thinking,” he added.

 

A controversy erupted in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh when pictures showing candidates with their castes marked on their chests went viral. The incident happened in Dhar, where 206 candidates appeared for medical examination at the district hospital.

Reports say they were segregated according to their castes to “avoid confusion”. The minimum height for general category candidates is 168 cms, and 165 cms for reserved categories.

Reports, however, state that General candidates were not tagged.

The increasing heat over the incident forced the state Home Minister Bhupendra Singh to order an investigation.

While the Police ordered an inquiry, Deputy Superintendent of Police Veerendra Singh reportedly said that there was “no bad intention”.

None of the recruits marked in the manner have filed any complaint in this regard.

The Congress has demanded an apology from the MP Chief Minister.

Reports say that BJP MP from Dhar, Savitri Thakur, condemned the incident and demanded action against those guilty. Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, too, called it is an insult to SC/ ST people and demanded action.