BJP president Amit Shah today asserted that there was no question of the Narendra Modi government ever trying to scrap the reservation policy for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities in education and jobs.
Addressing a public meeting at Bhawanipatna in Odisha, the BJP president made it clear that the central government would neither scrap the policy of reservation for SC and ST nor allow anyone to do so.
Shah said that that “no one can dare to change” the reservation policy “as set by B R Ambedkar in the Constitution”.
Shah also held the Congress and other opposition parties responsible for the deaths of nearly a dozen people in violence during a nationwide strike called by various Dalit outfits against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“Why was the bandh call given when the prime minister assured the people that the Centre would submit a review petition on the Supreme Court judgement... Ten people died during the bandh. The Congress and other opposition parties are responsible for the deaths of these 10 people,” he said.
Alleging that a “misinformation campaign” had been launched in the media and on social media that the BJP would withdraw reservations, Shah said, “I want to make it clear in this public meeting in the presence of so many people that the BJP will not withdraw reservations at all, nor will it allow anyone to do so.”
Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP president said, “We have full faith in the Constitution of India. There will not be slightest change in the reservation policy as set by B R Ambedkar in the Constitution. No one can dare to change it. The BJP will also not allow anyone to change the reservation policy.”
The Centre on Tuesday moved a plea in the Supreme Court seeking to review the March 20 verdict putting safeguards on arrest under the stringent SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The apex court, however, asserted that “no provisions of the SC/ST Act have been diluted” and refused to keep in abeyance the verdict.
Shal also slammed Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, saying he has failed to carry out development work in the state.
He claimed that Odisha will witness all-round development after the formation of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state.
Shah alleged that while the Centre had contributed generously to Odisha's development, the state lagged behind in health, education and other socio-economic sectors.
"Despite Centre's allocation of Rs 45,000 crore to the state government, Odisha lags behind in health, education and all other socio-economic sectors," said Shah.
Saying that around 36 per cent households in the state were yet to get electricity, he said the BJP government would provide electricity to all families by 2021.
"Around 50 lakh people in Odisha are residing in 'kutcha' (thatched) houses. The Modi government will provide pucca houses to everyone in the state by 2022. Besides, all households in the state will be provided with electricity connectivity before 2021," Shah said.
He said around 8.40 lakh children in Odisha suffered from malnutrition despite the central government providing aid to the state.
"As many as 12,442 villages are not connected by roads in Odisha. A BJP Chief Minister in the state can provide roads to these villages within two years," he said.
During his two-day visit, Shah will meet party's office-bearers and discuss a strategy for the 2019 general elections. He is scheduled to address another public meeting at Balangir on Thursday.
(With agency inputs)