Lucknow: BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule, who raised her voice against the growing doubts among Dalits regarding the scrapping of reservation, clarified on Wednesday that she is not against the Central government or its leadership.
“I am not against BJP government or party leadership but at the same time it is my duty to raise voice against the Dalit atrocities in the country. I am concerned about the condition of Dalits in the state though,” said Phule.
“There should be an inquiry into the deaths of Dalit people who died during Bharat Bandh on April 2 and strict action should be taken against those who were involved in the violence during the band," she said while addressing a press conference in Lucknow.
Only last week, India had witnessed a massive ‘Bharat Bandh’ protests across various parts of the country against the alleged dilution of SC/ST Act. The agitation led to the death of 11 people, most of whom were Dalits. The protest brought the country to a standstill and some Dalit activists have hailed it as ‘historic’
On being asked if the MP was not satisfied with the action taken by Yogi Adityanath government against culprits involved in violence during Bharat Bandh, Phule said, “All I want to say that if culprits are not punished then Dalits will not get justice. Instead of sending culprits to jail the government has sent Dalit students and workers to jail. I demand that government should immediately release such students and workers else their future will be at stake.”
On being asked if she was worried about the consequences awaiting her for speaking against her own party, Phule said, “I am not speaking against my party or raising any questions on the leadership. I am part of the government and it is my responsibility to raise the issues related to Dalits and backwards. The security of the Dalits and backwards is the responsibility of the government.”
BJP MP Udit Raj, too, alleged that members of his Dalit community were being "tortured" in the wake of the violent protests during the 'Bharat Bandh'. "Reports are pouring in that those Dalits who participated in agitation on April 2 are being tortured and it must be stopped," he said in a tweet.
Also, four BJP Dalit MPs from Uttar Pradesh have either resigned, threatened to resign or expressed dissent with the perceived anti-Dalit stance of the party.
Earlier, Savitri Bai Phule led a protest march against the Central government alleging there was a conspiracy to end reservations.
She also alleged that the government was just playing the role of a mute spectator.
Speaking to News18, Phule said, “Reservation is not begging but instead it is a matter of representation. If the people in power try to change the Indian Constitution and end the reservation through it, then there will be a bloodbath for sure. Reservation was given to us by Baba Saheb as our right and no one else can claim it.”
Phule said that there is continuous debate regarding the review of the Constitution and reservation, which is a disguised effort to end the reservation. She said that she will fight against any effort to end reservation tooth and nail.