Lucknow: Rejecting the demand for withdrawal of the SC/ST Act or even diluting it in any manner, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Friday said the Act was amended in Parliament with the support of all political parties, to save the 'Dalits' and 'Tribals' from atrocities, and not to implicate any upper caste.
Social Justice Minister Athawale Bats for 25% Quota For Poor Among Upper Castes
"The Act cannot be changed now and it is the duty of the people from all caste and communities to support the Dalits on the issue," he said, while announcing that very soon, he will meet the representatives of the upper caste, who are annoyed with the government over the Act.
Addressing a press conference here, the Republican Party of India (A) chief said there is a need for better coordination between the Dalits and the upper caste, which was the dream of Dr B R Ambedkar.
'Besides, the apprehension of the upper caste about the misuse of the SC/ST Act is negligible, as the cases against them over verbal abuse are even less than one per cent," he said. Mr Athawale blamed the Opposition parties for triggering violence in BJP-ruled states, over the SC/ST Act.
Claiming that RPI is ready to contest the Lok Sabha polls in UP in alliance with BJP, he said the party wants to contest some 3-4 seats.
'We will talk to BJP president Amit Shah and could reach any agreement, as we can dent into the vote bank of BSP," he said, while also making it clear that RPI will do nothing, which could affect the prospects of the ruling party in the state.
Further stating that BJP can increase their tally to around 300 seats in the next general after their 282 mark in 2014. Appreciating the Prime Minister, the RPI president said the works of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' has been a big achiever, during the past five years. The Union Minister also spoke over the use of word 'Dalit,' saying that they would move the Supreme Court over the recent judgement of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, which banned the use of 'Dalit' in writing or speaking.
'When their are thousands of organisations in the name of Dalits, then how can the court give such a judgement," he said, while opposing the HC ruling.
Commenting on the Bhima-Koregaon incident, in which six human right activists have been put on arrest, for having alleged links with the Naxalites, he said since the matter was sub-judice, nothing can be said on it. 'But, I can say that anyone having links with the Naxalites, are anti-national,' Mr Athawale added. UNI