Congress questions move over Dalit weddings in MP

PL Punia
New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) The Congress has started talks with the BSP for a possible pre-poll alliance for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly elections but no such move has been initiated in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where polls are also slated for the year end, say party leaders. Party sources say informal talks were underway to find a common ground with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Madhya Pradesh, while a state party leader said that all efforts are being taken to prevent division of votes of anti-BJP votes. BSP had polled 4.29 votes in Madhya Pradesh in the last election. However, Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot told IANS that no such discussions with BSP or any other party have taken place as far as the state is concerned. AICC in-charge of Chhattisgarh P.L.Punia told IANS: “No discussions have taken place on the alliance so far. There is no such proposal. You must have seen in the ‘Sankalp Shivirs’ that we have initiated, we are preparing ourselves for all the 90 seats in the state. There is nothing as of now (on the alliance).”

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) Congress on Saturday raised questions over authorities in a part of Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district asking sarpanches to inform police in advance if there is a wedding in a Dalit family, saying the move “further isolates” an already marginalised community.

In a statement, Congress leader P. L. Punia also accused the BJP-led government of bias against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, saying that some Dalit members of the ruling party had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with their complaints.

Questioning the order in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh concerning advance information about Dalit weddings, he said: “One is forced to wonder as to what the police will do. Will it ensure that the Dalits behave themselves by not being overtly celebratory? Will it ensure that the roads are cleared so that a Dalit does not inadvertently touch or spite an upper caste person? Or will it ensure that the Dalit groom sits on a horse only after paying a hefty bribe?

“In either case it is a move that further discriminates, isolates and terrorises an already marginalised community,” he said.

Punia was referring to media reports that authorities in the Mahidpur tehsil of Ujjain district in Madhya Pradesh had asked the local panchayat representatives and officials to inform police three days in advance if there was a wedding in a Dalit family in villages.

The authorities, who had termed the step as a precautionary measure, had cited a showdown between Dalits and upper castes.


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