Karnataka

Did Siddaramaiah join the Congress for a livelihood, asks Dalit leader

Hitting back at Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who had reportedly said that Dalit leaders had quit the Congress and joined the BJP for securing their livelihood, State Vice-President of BJP’s Scheduled Castes Morcha Ambaraya Ashtagi said that the remarks were insulting to Dalit community and their political leadership.

“Speaking at a by-election campaign at Sindgi, Mr. Siddaramaiah had said that Dalit leaders had deserted Congress and joined the BJP for securing their livelihood. It is true that Dalits are increasingly quitting the Congress and joining the BJP these years. For, the Congress had taken the Dalit community for granted and treated it as its vote-bank hardly making any effort for the development of the community,” Mr. Ashtagi said in a media statement released here on Thursday.

Mr. Ashtagi further said that systematically sidelining and suppressing the Dalit leaders in the Congress are the other important reasons for many Dalit leaders deserting the Congress and joining the BJP.

“Systematic suppression of Dalit leaders in the Congress being another important reason for many Dalit leaders deserting the Congress and joining the BJP is not unknown to Mr. Siddaramaiah. Yet, he is covering up the truth and making absurd statements on the issue for political reasons. Why did Mr. Siddaramaiah quit the Janata Dal (Secular) and join the Congress? He should introspect whether he had done it for a livelihood,” Mr. Ashtagi said.

Countering Mr. Siddaramaiah’s argument that the Congress had offered reservations to Dalits, Mr. Ashtagi said that it was the Indian Constitution drafted by Baba Saheb Ambedkar that offered Dalits and other backward classes the reservations and not the Congress.

“It is the Indian Constitution drafted by Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar and not the Congress that offered reservations to all oppressed and marginal communities, including Dalits. Reservation is not a mercy or compassion shown by a particular party or the ruling dispensation, but a Constitutionally guaranteed right,” Mr. Ashtagi said, demanding Mr. Siddaramaiah to withdraw his statement that insulted the Dalit community and tender a public apology.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 1:35:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/did-siddaramaiah-join-the-congress-for-a-livelihood-asks-dalit-leader/article37213959.ece

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