Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday assured that his government will not let the law to prevent atrocities on SCs and STs to be diluted after the Supreme Court laid down new guidelines to prevent its misuse.
Mr Modi’s dalit outreach comes just days after a violent Bharat bandh was observed on April 2 by various SC/ST organisations over the apex court’s ruling on the aforementioned legislation, and after some Dalit lawmakers of the BJP had complained of being discriminated upon. Incidents of desecration of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s statues in some of parts of the country also occurred over the past few days.
The Prime Minister also launched a full scale assault on the Congress for humiliating dalit icon Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and alleged that successive Congress regimes right from Jawaharlal Nehru to Rajiv Gandhi, tried to erase his legacy of nation building.
The Prime Minister challenged the Congress to name even a single thing which it may have done to honour the legacy of Dr Ambedkar. He said that it was Congress’ political compulsion that it has to take Dr Ambedkar’s name as it plays votebank politics to woo SCs and STs during elections.
He also accused the opposition party of spreading “lies” to create fissures.
“I want to assure the nation that the law which has been made stringent by us will not allowed to be affected (by the SC order)… Do not get trapped by the Congress and those parties who have surrendered to the Congress culture,” he said at the inauguration of B.R. Ambedkar memorial here.
His remarks on the SC verdict and the resultant protests marred by violence assume significance as several opposition parties have accused the BJP and the government of being anti-dalit.
The Prime said in 2015, it was his government which included several new crimes under the ambit of the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. “From 22, the crimes to be covered under the law were increased to 47 by our government… We also enhanced the compensation to be aid to the victims,” he said.
Mr Modi reminded the gathering that when the government amended the law, it allowed the provision of denial of interim bail to remain to ensure that it remains effective. He said while the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on March 20, the government acted fast to file a review petition. He said people often wonder about the delay in moving the top court.