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Dalit BJP MPs Who Threatened to Resign Will Vote Against No-Confidence Motion

Bahraich MP, Savitribai Phule, described the no-confidence vote as a ploy to divert people's attention from the real issue: "which is that reservation is not being implemented in this country."

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Updated:July 20, 2018, 11:55 AM IST
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Dalit BJP MPs Who Threatened to Resign Will Vote Against No-Confidence Motion
File photo of BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule.
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New Delhi: Despite having criticised the party high command over the increasing violence suffered by Dalits, BJP's Dalit MPs said they stood firmly with their party and were going to vote against the no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha on Friday.

Four Dalit MPs from Uttar Pradesh threatened to resign over the alleged anti-Dalit stance of their party in April this year.

Leading the charge was Bahraich MP, Savitribai Phule, who on April 1 held an independent rally in Lucknow called 'Save constitution, save reservation' rally. In her rally, Phule had said, “Main saansad rahun ya na rahun, aarakshan se chedchaad nahi hone dungi (whether I continue to be an MP or not, I won’t let anyone tinker with reservation).”

Speaking to News18 on Friday, she said, "Main party ke saath dokha nahi kar sakti. Lok Sabha mein rehke hi apni awaaz uthayee ja sakti hai (I cannot betray my party. Only while being in Lok Sabha can one be heard properly)."

Though she added that she wasn't happy with her party either. "We are all unhappy with the way our party has reacted to the increasing number of incidents against Dalits today. People are being beaten, pushed around, Ambedkar statues are being vandalised, and against this no action is being taken."

She described the no-confidence vote as a ploy to divert people's attention from the real issue: "which is that reservation is not being implemented in this country."

Yashwant Singh, BJP MP from Nagina, UP, had in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, written one day after Phule's rally, claimed that for the past four years Modi government had done nothing for the Dalits. He also said that he became an MP because of reservation, but his capabilities as a Dalit MP had not been utilised.

Singh went on to state that BJP’s Dalit MPs were being questioned and attacked by the community all the time. “Humein jawab dena mushkil ho raha hai (It’s getting tough for us to face the public).”

Speaking to News18, Singh said, "There were some differences of opinions I had that I made known to the Prime Minister, it does not mean I'm defecting from the party. I raised the issue of reservation and the party high command assured me that reservation will be implemented, so that matter is closed now. I am going to vote for the party."

Another BJP Lok Sabha member who shot off a letter to Prime Minister Modi was Robertsganj MP Chhote Lal Kharwar. In his letter written to Modi on April 5, Kharwar had said that he was facing discrimination because of his Dalit identity. He called UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath 'casteist' in the same letter and claimed to have sent an official complaint to National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Speaking to News18 on Friday morning, Kharwar said, "I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister expressing some grievances. It doesn't mean that I'm unhappy with the party. Modiji is our supreme leader and I'm a committed member of the party and I'm going to vote for it today. No doubt about it."
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