Chandigarh, Sep 11: Union minister Ramdas Athawale today asked Dalits not to support self-styled godmen like convicted Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and instead follow B R Ambedkar's ideology.
The minister, a prominent leader from the community, adviced political parties not to go to "bhondu babas" such as Ram Rahim after knowing the "reality".
The 50-year-old dera chief was jailed for 20 years in two rape cases by a court last month. The conviction led to widespread violence in which 41 people died.
"Ram Rahim Singh has been exposed, Dalits should not support him," Republican Party of India (A) leader Athawale told reporters here.
He appealed to Dalits to pursue the ideology of Ambedkar, one of the framers of the Constitution.
The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment said one can have faith in somebody, but it should not be a blind one. "It is not right to support those babas who are on the wrong path," he said.
Ram Rahim, who is lodged at Rohtak's Sunaria jail, has a huge number of followers in Punjab and Haryana and other parts of the country, and many of them are Dalits.
"No political party should go to such a 'bhondu' baba (Ram Rahim). Parties after seeing the situation should properly inquire about babas before going to their places.
They should never go with blind faith," Athawale said.
Dera supporters should not have resorted to violence after Ram Rahim was convicted in the rape cases on August 25, he said.
"It was not right to take the law into ones own hand for the 'characterless' baba after he was convicted," he said, lamenting the incidents of violence and damage to public and private properties.