Congress stages walkout in Lok Sabha over attacks on Dalits

Updated - September 20, 2016 12:19 pm IST

Published - August 08, 2016 04:50 pm IST - New Delhi

The Congress on Monday staged a walkout in Lok Sabha on the issue of attacks on Dalits and hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “not being serious” over the issue.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue and sought discussion over the issue soon after Question Hour was over.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s speech in Telangana on Sunday, Mr. Kharge said, “Modiji is not serious enough in combating attacks on Dalits.”

Congress members trooped into the Well despite Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s assurance that she would let them have their say after the listed business.

“I will allow him to speak. I have never said no to it, but let me be done with the (Zero Hour) list. There are many smaller parties here and it will be an injustice to the members,” she said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh as also the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar were seen gesturing to Mr. Kharge suggesting that a way could be found out through informal talks.

Congress members were unrelenting and demanded that the Prime Minister come to the House and speak on the issue.

“He (the PM) should not shed crocodile tears. He should not tweet, but act (against those perpetrating atrocities on dalits),” the Congress MPs chanted.

Later talking to reporters outside Parliament, Mr. Kharge said, “Prime Minister has become helpless, he has become weak and this helplessness has forced him to say that he should be shot and Dalit brothers be spared.”

Mr. Kharge demanded that Prime Minister should make a statement in Parliament on the issue.

“Rather than giving a reply in the Parliament, he is making a statement outside the Parliament. We had asked for a discussion on the issue under Rule 193, but they did not answer,” he said.

During his maiden visit to Telangana, Mr. Modi made it clear on Sunday that caste discrimination will not be allowed.

He also called for putting an end to politicising the caste issue and alleged that some parties which considered Dalits as their vote bank and afraid of the initiatives taken by his government, were trying to raise such issues by somehow influencing Dalits.

“I want to tell all such people, if you want to attack, attack me, not my Dalit brothers. If you want to shoot, shoot me, not my Dalit brothers,” Mr. Modi said without naming any party.

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