Prakash Rathod gets back at caste politics comments
Condemning the statement of BJP MP Ramesh Jigajinagi who accused the Congress of treating Dalits and Muslims as mere vote banks, All India Congress Committee (AICC) member and former MLC Prakash Rathod asked the BJP to introspect before making allegations against the Congress.
Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, he said that during the last five years of rule in Karnataka, the BJP had not elevated any Dalit to the post of Deputy Chief Minister or the State party president.
“If one searches into the history of the BJP, it gives a clear information that even today, the BJP has not appointed any Dalit as president of [the party] in any State in the country,” he said.
Mr. Rathod said that unlike the BJP, the Congress made Meira Kumar, a Dalit, the Lok Sabha Speaker and other Dalits such as Mallikarjun Kharge, K.H. Muniyappa and Sushil Kumar Shinde Ministers in the Union government.
Replying to the claims made by Mr. Jigajinagi of writing a letter to the Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh about implementing the airport project in Bijapur, Mr. Rathod wondered why the MP showed no such concern for Bijapur in the last four and a half years. He said Mr. Jigajinagi had never raised this issue earlier though it was the previous BJP government that proposed the project.
If he had real concern, then he should have found out from the previous BJP government the reason for the delay of the project instead of writing letters to the Union government now, Mr. Rathod said.
Accusing Mr. Jigajinagi of staying away from the people so far in his term as the MP, he said that the MP was giving ‘paper statements’ now in anticipation of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Modi’s PM potential
On the claims made by Mr. Jigajinagi that the people favoured the candidature of Narendra Modi for the post of the Prime Minister, Mr. Rathod said that if at all Mr. Modi becomes the Prime Minister, then India would see instant rise in communal violence.
“More Godhra-like incidents will become common in the country if Mr. Modi becomes Prime Minister. The country will get divided on the caste-lines,” he said, and asserted that the people of India will not allow Mr. Modi to become the Prime Minister.
To a question whether the possible re-entry of Basansagouda Patil Yatnal into BJP will affect the Congress prospects in the Lok Sabha election, Mr. Rathod said that Mr. Patil was defeated by the people twice the last assembly elections and cannot do any harm to Congress.
“By defeating Mr. Patil twice in the election, people have showed him what his position in the politics is,” he said.