September 20, 2020

Uproar in Houses over Dalit rights

Patna: The Legislative Council was in an uproar over the SC/ST issue on Monday, as soon as it started proceedings for the day.

RJD MLC Subodh Kumar moved an adjournment motion, mentioning that a Bharat Bandh call had been given as the rights of Dalits are being taken away. Subodh demanded that the Act safeguarding rights of Dalits should be put in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution so that the judiciary could not interfere with it.

As Council vice-chairman Harun Rashid rejected the motion, claiming the issue was related to the Supreme Court and should not be raised in the House, the RJD members rushed to the Well raising slogans.

Congress MLC Madan Mohan Jha stood on his seat, supporting the RJD demand. At this time, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi started speaking on the issue raised by the Opposition members.

While Modi continued speaking, the sloganeering RJD members walked out.

Modi informed the House that the Centre had filed a revision petition in the Supreme Court urging it to take a re-look into its recent directive on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The apex court, while hearing a petition filed by Maharashtra government official S.K. Mahajan, had issues a slew of guidelines regarding the Act which talked of protecting government servants and private individuals from arbitrary and immediate arrest as part of its provisions.

Modi said there was no need for calling a bandh, as the Centre had already filed the revision petition.

The RJD government, he reminded, had conducted the panchayat polls without giving reservation to Dalits even though the 73rd and 74th amendments had been done. He added that after coming to power in 2005, the NDA government gave reservation to Dalits and extremely backwards classes in panchayats and urban local bodies.

Speaking to journalists later, he said the BJP stood against any dilution of the Act’s provisions and misuse should not be made a ground for it.

He also accused the Opposition parties of spreading rumours that efforts were being made to end reservation and maintained that the BJP stood for giving Dalits benefits in promotion. He added that Dalits should not fall prey to the falsehood of the RJD and Congress, and maintained that what the NDA government did for the community’s benefits over the past 12 years in Bihar had not been done by any government earlier.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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