No place for Dalits in Congress heart: Modi

BENGALURU: There is no place for the dalits and backward classes in the heart of the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday and asserted his government is trying to realise BR Ambedkar's dream of a powerful and prosperous India.

Launching a blistering attack on the Congress over the way it has treated the dalits, PM Modi said the party showed no respect for Ambedkar.

The Congress, he alleged, used "all its power" to defeat Ambedkar when he contested Lok Sabha election in 1952 and Bandara Lok Sabha by-election in 1953.

"That is the reason why Baba Saheb had to face defeat and insult. Let Congress show at least one thing it did to honour Baba Saheb," he said.

Addressing BJP's SC/ST/OBC and Slum Morcha workers through his Namo App, PM Modi said, "There is no place for dalits and backward classes in the heart of the Congress."

"This has been happening for decades. Till the time the Congress party was in power, Baba Saheb was not given Bharat Ratna," he said.

Maintaining that Ambedkar dreamt of an India which takes everybody forward together, he said the BJP is trying to fulfil his dream by implementing various schemes.

The government, he said, is making efforts to ensure there is social justice and equality.

Modi said 'Stand Up' and 'Mudra' Yojanas are playing a major role in the financial empowerment of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs and women.

Noting that the BJP has the most number of MPs belonging these categories, PM Modi said, it was for the first time after Independence that the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government created a separate ministry for scheduled tribes.

Also, it was under Vajpayee that the government created a separate national commission for scheduled tribes, he said.

Modi said the BJP has its governments in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh which have sizeable tribal population.

It is also in power in northeastern states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura, and is part of coalition dispensations in Nagaland and Meghalaya.

"This shows that tribal people are fully supporting the BJP," he said.

He said the party's manifesto for Karnataka elections has details of the programmes its government will undertake for empowerment of the scheduled tribes.

In Chitradurga, Mysuru, Uttar Kannada and Bagalkot, the government will set up four 'sindhoora laxman training centres' for vocational training, he said.

Modi said the Congress never thought of giving constitutional status to OBC Commission.

"What problem they have I am yet to understand. Every time they create obstacles despite the community's demand for it," he said.

The Congress, he said, did not allow Parliament to function to block the government's move to accord constitutional status to OBC Commission. 

Modi said his government made provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act more stringent and increased the number of offences listed under it from 22 to 47. 

"The government did this because I know what problems the poor face, what pain Dalits and tribals suffer, and what kind of language is used against them."

He asked BJP workers to visit the homes of people belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes to reassure them that BJP will work for their welfare.