Kateel terms Congress ‘anti-Dalit’

In his bid to attract B.R. Ambedkar followers, especially Dalits, BJP State unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel said that Congress was collapsing in the country because of its sin of defeating Ambedkar in an election and not providing space for his funeral in Delhi.

Addressing an election rally at Shantiniketan Grounds in byelection-bound Basavakalyan, Bidar district, on Saturday, in which some Dalit leaders joined BJP, Mr. Kateel attacked Congress which he termed ‘anti-Dalit’.

‘Win guaranteed’

“The Congress is attempting to project BJP an anti-Dalit party. The fact, however, is that Congress itself is anti-Dalit. We, the BJP, have made a Dalit the President of India. Siddaramaiah rose to power with strong support from Dalits, minorities and backward communities. But, he forgot them after assuming power as the Chief Minister. BJP became stronger in Basavakalyan with the joining of the Dalit leaders and cadres and the victory of the party candidate, Sharanu Salagar, is guaranteed,” he said.

Countering the allegations against the BJP that it was attempting to change the constitution and end the caste-based reservations, Chaluvadi Narayanaswamy, the State president of BJP SC Morcha, claimed that the saffron party never thought along those lines.

Ravindra Gaikwad, a Dalit leader who quit Congress and joined BJP along with office-bearers of 115 branches of Dalit Panthers, justified his decision by stating that the Congress has no longer had pro-Dalit concerns after the demise of B. Narayana Rao, the Congress MLA from Basavakalyan whose death necessitated the byelection.

Bidar district in-charge Minister Prabhu Chauhan, Bidar Lok Sabha member Bhagwanth Khuba, BJP SC Morcha State Vice-President Ambaraya Ashtagi, Dalit leader Ravi Navadgekar, legislators Basavaraj Mattimud, Sunil Valyapure, party leaders Baburao Chinchansur, Shailendra Beldale and others were present.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 3:43:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kateel-terms-congress-anti-dalit/article34235107.ece

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