Modi promises a panel in SC community outreach ahead of Telangana polls
PM Modi announced that a committee would look into the demand of Madigas for categorisation of Scheduled Castes (SC) for implementation of reservation.
Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government was committed to the categorisation of Scheduled Castes (SC) for the implementation of reservation, and announced that a committee would be constituted to look into the issue.
Addressing a rally at Secunderabad parade grounds in poll-bound Telangana, the prime minister said the BJP would stand by the long-drawn legal battle of the Madigas, a Dalit community, seeking categorisation of scheduled castes. “We shall extend all help to the Madigas in their legal battle. The government would appoint a committee to look into the demand of the Madigas for categorisation of SCs and ensure justice to the downtrodden sections among the SCs,” Modi said.
The rally was organised by the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS), a community organisation fighting for SC categorisation.
Modi said his government functions on the concept of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” and draws inspiration from leaders like BR Ambedkar and poets like Gurram Joshua who had fought for the upliftment of Dalits.
“People have witnessed several governments since Independence and they can see the difference between previous governments and my government. The parties that ruled the country in the past had promised to do justice to the Dalits, but they betrayed them,” he said.
Ahead of the November 30 assembly elections in the southern state, which is all set to witness a triangular contest between the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the Congress and the BJP, Modi accused the state government of cheating the Madiga community.
“The BRS leadership promised to make a Dalit as the chief minister if the party came to power in 2014 [when Telangana was formed]. But the chair was usurped by BRS president K Chandrashekar Rao. He promised three acres of land for Dalits, but betrayed them,” Modi alleged. “Even Dalit Bandhu scheme was implemented only for a few sections owing allegiance to the BRS.”
Stating that Telangana is in a deep crisis at present, Modi said the BRS government had failed to safeguard the identity of the state. “The BRS is against the Madiga community and so is the Congress,” he said.
Modi also attacked the Congress, saying the grand old party had always looked down upon Ambedkar. “This Congress twice did not allow Babasaheb Ambedkar to win. For decades together, the Congress ensured that Babasaheb’s portrait was not put up in the old Parliament, Central Hall…Babasaheb was not given the Bharat Ratna for decades together because of the Congress,” he alleged.
He added that it was after the BJP-backed government came to power at the Centre that “we installed the picture of Ambedkar in Parliament and honoured him with Bharat Ratna”.
Praising Manda Krishna, the founder-president of Madiga organisation that held the rally, Modi said: “He is like my younger brother. He has been fighting for the cause of Madigas for the last 30 years with one-life, one-mission. He has all my support for his struggle.”
Manda Krishna thanked Modi for attending the rally of the SC sub-castes and giving them an assurance on their long-drawn struggle. “All these years, the political parties in the state have treated us with utter contempt. I am confident that the BJP will do justice to us,” he said.
Reacting to the PM’s speech, Congress leader Pidamarthi Ravi alleged that Modi’s announcement to set up a panel on Dalit categorisation was a delaying tactics.
“This is nothing but delaying tactics on the part of Modi. If he is sincere, he should not waste time in the name of committees, but introduce the bill in the Winter Session of Parliament for SC categorisation,” Ravi, former chairperson of the Telangana SC Corporation, said.
BRS spokesperson Dasoju Sravan could not be reached for a comment.
However, KCR’s nephew and state finance minister T Harish Rao at a meeting on last Sunday had alleged that it was the BJP government at the Centre that was delaying the implementation of categorisation of Scheduled Castes.
Rao said the BRS government had passed resolutions twice in the state assembly urging the Centre for categorisation of SCs, but the BJP-led Union government ignored them. He said the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi has been agitating for the SC categorisation since the 1990s, but the successive governments had “failed to take any steps to fulfil their demand”.
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