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Congress Slams Centre Over Dalit Atrocities, Rajnath Says Don't Politicise

Home Minister Rajnath  Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh

The Congress staged a walkout over the issue after Rajnath said that not much of does by the previous government for the welfare of Dalits.

New Delhi: Discussing the issue of atrocities against Dalits in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia trained his guns at the Centre and said its aim is to "suppress India" and "repress India" even as Home Minister Rajnath Singh requested the Opposition not to politicise the issue.

Scindia in an impassioned speech, said, "You asked to scrap reservations for Dalits... you can't be on this side and that side. You need to take a stand based on principles."

He asked what was the significance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rebuke to those committing atrocities against Dalits when they don't listen to him.

"Fringe has become Centre and Centre has become fringe," Scindia said, and emphasised, that if proper actions had been taken after the Dadri lynching then the Una incident wouldn't have happened.

Speaking immediately after Scindia, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urged the Opposition stop playing politics over the issue and said the society must take it as a challenge to end such incidents.

"People from various castes and communities in India live together. Our ancestors believed in 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (world is one family)," Rajnath said while discussing the issue in Lok Sabha.

Admitting that the Dalits were lagging behind economically, Rajnath said that despite all sorts of problems and social evils pitted against them, they never asked for a separate country.

"Their contribution is immense to the country," he said, adding that atrocities against them were a result of "distorted mentality".

He said that in ancient Indian society, when there was no untouchability or any other social handicap against them, should be our model for the present-day society.

"Humanity has to be considered supreme over other things," he added, saying that various measures were being taken to ensure a respectful life for the downtrodden in the country.

The Congress even staged a walkout over the issue after Rajnath said that not much of does by the previous government for the welfare of Dalits.

The debate was held following an outrage over the incidents of flogging of Dalits, in Una town of Gujarat, by cow vigilantes.
first published:August 11, 2016, 22:33 IST