SC/ST Act Row: Party Doesn’t Ask Me a Thing, Says Dalit BJP MP

SC/ST Act Row: Party Doesn’t Ask Me a Thing, Says Dalit BJP MP

Politics

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

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"They did not ask me a thing in the four years of their governance. I shared my opinion with them on my own. How am I supposed to keep giving perspective when I am not even asked for it?" said BJP MP from Northwest Delhi Dr Udit Raj.

While the country is still reeling from the 2 April protest by Dalits opposing the Supreme Court’s dilution of one provision of the SC/ST Act, the Dalit MP, in an interview to Quint Hindi, said he was not satisfied with the apex court’s decision.

I’m not satisfied with the Supreme Court’s decision at all. The Act has been changed entirely. Now, it is very dependent on the third party, even though this was not the desired purpose of the Act.
Udit Raj, BJP MP

Raj said Dalit's have been disappointed with some older verdicts of the apex court as well, pointing out that there was no political organisation behind the 2 April Bharat Bandh and that a message calling for a protest had been doing the rounds on social media since the last 15 days.

The BJP MP gave an insight into the thought process of Dalits and why they are really angry.

Rohit Vermula’s death was when the situation started getting really bad. Then happened the Una, Saharanpur, Koragaanv incidents. The UGC guidelines were also a reason. The anger was already within. The SC/ST Act became the trigger.
Dr Udit Raj

On being asked if the BJP government had been unsuccessful in communicating with its Dalit MPs, Raj said: “Toying with Ambedkar’s name is also a reason for the protest.”

They did not ask me a thing in the past four years. I shared my opinions with them on my own, but they never bothered to ask me. How am I supposed to keep giving perspective when I am not even asked for it? It is their reservation, their point of view. How do we share our point of view? Who should we share it with? Where should we do it? I have been with them since the past 20 years, but I was never asked a thing.

However, Raj also maintained that he does not want to make the issue political. He was waiting to see what form the negotiations take.

The Dalit MP expressed disappointment over the violence during the Bharat Bandh, adding that he does not under any circumstance support the violence that erupted between "the Savarnas and the Dalits" during the bandh.

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