Opposition tries to pin PM down on anti-Dalit violence

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi



Mayawati says Modi has woken up to issue before UP polls; Cong MPs stage walkout

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Monday accused by Opposition parties of “shedding crocodile tears” through his recent criticism of cow vigilante groups and his condemnation of atrocities against Dalits and Muslims. Parliament witnessed disruptions over the issue, with principal Opposition Congress staging a walkout, and BSP supremo Mayawati accusing the Prime Minister of “sleeping like Kumbhakaran” during the incidents of violence.

Over the weekend, Modi had lashed out at “fake cow protectors” and made a strong pitch for the cessation of anti-Dalit violence. “I would like to tell all countrymen that they be wary of these fake cow protectors. These handful of people must not be allowed to destroy your good work for their vested interests,” Modi had said, while addressing a public meeting in Telangana on Sunday. He had earlier said that the “fake” cow protectors should shoot him rather than targeting Dalits.

On Monday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the PM and the ruling BJP are “dividing the society in the name of the cow”. Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the PM was only paying “lip service” to the issue.

Gau rakshaks were attacking Dalits and Muslims for the last two years but the PM was sleeping like Kumbhakaran. Now he has woken up because Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are near,” said Mayawati. She said the cow vigilante groups were only active in states ruled by the BJP. She demanded to know why the PM has only made statements outside Parliament and none inside any of the Houses where the opposition can cross question him.

UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of creating differences in society in the name of cow protection and deviating from the discussion on development. “BJP’s attitude on the issue of cow is well known. Cows are owned by farmers in villages. You can find cows with us (Yadavs)...but tell me which person in BJP in a city owns a cow,” he said in Lucknow.

Meanwhile in the Lok Sabha, Congress MPs stormed the Well of the House when Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not immediately allow party leader Mallikarjun Kharge to raise the issue. The Speaker said she would allow Kharge to speak but only after Zero Hour as she had not got any notice from the member. She repeatedly appealed to the Congress members to go back to their seats.

However, the unrelenting MPs demanded that the PM make a statement in the House. “He (the PM) should not shed crocodile tears. He should not tweet, but act (against those perpetrating atrocities on Dalits),” the Congress MPs chanted, before staging a walkout.

Published on August 08, 2016

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