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Rahul Gandhi to launch 'Save the Constitution' campaign on Monday to highlight Dalit issues

It is being seen an attempt by the grand-old party to reach out to the Dalit community ahead of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Reported by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: April 22, 2018 21:08 IST ]
Image Source : PTI

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi will launch his party's nationwide campaign 'Save the Constitution' highlighting alleged attacks on the Constitution and Dalits under the BJP-led regime on Monday. 

It is being seen an attempt by the grand-old party to reach out to the Dalit community ahead of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

The campaign is expected to be attended by Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sushil Kumar Shinde among others. 

The campaign will continue till next year's April 14, the birth anniversary of Dalit icon Bhim Rao Ambedkar. 

Congress's present and former Dalit lawmakers, those holding offices in zilla parishad, civic bodies and panchayat samitis, the party's office-bearers attached to its regional units will also attend the event, aimed at sensitising the attendees on the current state of affairs with regard to the community. 

The attendees are expected to take the message forward, holding similar campaigns in states to reach out to the community members, sources said.

 
"Ever since the RSS-supported BJP came to power at the centre, the Indian Constitution has been under severe attack, in one form or the other, thereby, denying the marginalised sections of society their constitutional rights," chairman of Congress's Scheduled Castes department Nitin Raut said in a statement. 

He added: "The BJP-RSS combine is set to dismantle the social security available for SCs, STs and other weaker sections. The RSS ideology attacks the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. This would be countered by Congress Party." 

Raut also hit out at the Centre over the Supreme Court's March 20 verdict allegedly diluting stringent provisions mandating immediate arrest under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act. Raut charged the government with "intentional failure" to place before the apex court background and relevant facts relating to the act "holistically". 

The action of the government is in itself an atrocity on the SCs and STs, he added. 

Another party leader, wishing not to be named, said, "The community is being denied opportunities in spheres of education and jobs. The programme aims to highlight these issues nationwide." 

Dalits form roughly 17 per cent of the country's electorate. There are 84 parliamentary seats reserved for candidates belonging to the scheduled castes. The BJP had bagged nearly half of the seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, reflecting on its success in politically key states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. 

The leader noted that only three-four of those seats were won by the Congress then.

(With PTI inputs)

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