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Dalits are replying to attacks, says Minister

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Ramdas-Athawale (File Photo)

Hyderabad, Jan 11: Union Minister of State Ramdas Athawale on Thursday said Dalits were replying to attacks on them.

“You attack, we reply. You attack, we reply,” Athawale, the Minister of State for Social Justice and EmpowermentUnion Minister of State, said at a seminar at Osmania University here.

He was referring to the recent attack on Dalits in Pune who were celebrating 200 years of the victory of British troops over Peshwa Bajirao II’s Army in Koregaon Bhima. Dalits were part of the British troops.

“Some people attacked our community. We also replied. Sometimes, they are attacking but we are also replying,” he said but clarified that Dalits were not attacking anyone.

The Minister was addressing a seminar on ‘Ambedkar and Constitutionalism’ at Osmania University.

Athawale said Ambedkarites were not against any caste.

“We don’t want to quarrel with anybody. If you want to fight, go to the border and fight against Pakistan. Why do you want to fight your own countrymen?” he asked.

The RPI leader admitted that atrocities on Dalits were taking place but claimed this was not happening everywhere.

He said his party was supporting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) because the Modi government believes, respects and follows the Indian Constitution and Ambedkar’s philosophy.

Athawale said that Modi told the Parliament that the Constitution is the ‘dharmagranth’ (sacred book) for him and he became the Prime Minister because of the Constitution.

“BJP may have a different philosophy but Modi, who is the Other Backward Class (OBC) leader from Gujarat, believes in and follows the Constitution,” he said.

He said that those who do not believe in the Indian Constitution should leave India.

IANS

Politics

Congress hits back, accuses Amit Shah of shedding crocodile tears

Narendra Modi government at the Centre and BJP-PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir had betrayed the people of the state.

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Surjewala

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Congress on Saturday hit back at BJP President Amit Shah, accusing him of “shedding crocodile tears” in front of the people of Jammu after he lashed out at the Congress demanding an apology from its chief Rahul Gandhi for “anti-national statements” made by two of its senior leaders.

In a statement, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Amit Shah had no business to lecture the Congress on nationalism and that the BJP would never be able to realise the hard work which the UPA did to usher peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

“They have shamelessly squandered the mandate and shunned their responsibility,” he said referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) sudden decision to withdraw support from the PDP-led coalition government.

“After plunging Jammu and Kashmir into a deep turmoil, through an unethical opportunistic alliance, marred with a disquiet border, corruption, malgovernance and false promises, in the last four years, BJP President is shedding crocodile tears in front of the people of Jammu,” the he said in the statement.

The Congress added that instead of doing “this choreographed drama”, Amit Shah should reflect upon hard facts which included 16 major terror attacks under the BJP rule, rise in deaths of soldiers and civilians in the state, and surge in ceasefire violations.

Earlier addressing a BJP rally in Jammu, Shah had lashed out at the Congress for what he called anti-national statements made by its two senior leaders, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saifuddin Soz, and demanded Gandhi should apologize.

Azad had said recently that while the security forces in Kashmir killed one militant, they killed 13 civilians with him, while Soz, in his forthcoming book on Kashmir, said that the majority of Kashmiris want independence.

Hitting back at the BJP, Surjewala said Narendra Modi government at the Centre and BJP-PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir had betrayed the people of the state.

“Sixteen major terror attacks have taken place on our security installations… Modi government invited the Pakistan-based rogue ISI to investigate the Pathankot attack,” he said.

He said the BJP was speaking a “white lie” that its policy led to more militants being killed as under PDP-Congress (2003-08) rule, 4,970 militants were killed and under NC-Congress (2009-14), 925 militants were killed compared to the PDP-BJP (2015-18) rule when 591 militants were killed.

Surjewala also noted that in the last two years, there have been 3,000 ceasefire violations by Pakistan compared to 563 ceasefire violations during last two years of UPA.

Accusing the PDP-BJP government of betraying the trust of people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, he said that the BJP was now shirking responsibility “after pushing the state into darkness” and that the collapse of the coalition government “is a relief” for the state’s people.

The tall talks of packages and development on the lines of ‘Kashmiriyat’ have become a ‘grand mirage’ under BJP,” he added.

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In poll-bound MP, Modi accuses Congress of spreading lies, ignoring cities

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Rajgarh/Indore, June 23 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong attack on Congress in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, accusing it of spreading lies about his government, not being concerned about states BIMARU tag and of ignoring urban infrastructure in cities.

Modi, who inaugurated Rs 4,000 crore Mohanpura irrigation Project at Rajgarh and unveiled urban development projects worth over Rs 4,000 crore at Indore, said the country was on its way to achieving the target of total cleanliness by Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary next year.

Seeking to set the tone for the BJP’s campaign for the assembly polls later this year, he compared the performance of his government as also of the state’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan government to that of Congress.

Addressing a rally at Rajgarh, Modi took several digs at the Congress.

“Those who are engaged in spreading misinformation, lies and pessimism, how far removed they are from the reality… you are a picture of it,” he told the gathering.

Accusing the Congress of not caring for Madhya Pradesh’s future and not feeling insulted over the state’s earlier “BIMARU” tag, he said BJP has made the state a major participant in the country’s development process.

“The Congress, which ruled Madhya Pradesh for long time, did not see or feel the insult (over Madhya Pradesh being counted among the sick states). They treated the common people as their subjects and got them to sing their praises. They did not care for Madhya Pradesh’s future.”

The acronym BIMARU was coined in the 1980s for the economic condition of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Remembering Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee on his death anniversary, he said Mookerjee’s vision was reflected in policies of BJP governments, while accusing the Congress of glorifying one family while ignoring contribution of other nation-builders.

The Prime Minister said that his government is making sure that every village has a gas connection, every household has electricity connection, everybody has bank accounts, everybody gets a shield of security insurance and every pregnant woman and child is immunised.

Noting this work could have been done by the Congress or previous governments also, he said: “It was unfortunate on the part of this country that Congress which has ruled this country for so many years never had trust in you and your hard work.”

Referring to completion of Mohanpura project in about four years, he said it was not only an example of rapid growth but also the way in which BJP governments work.

Taking a dig at Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his criticism of government over job creation, Modi said: “Some people’s attitude towards labour may not be positive, they make fun of employment, but the efforts of this government are in front of everyone today. More than 85 lakh people of Madhya Pradesh have taken benefit of Mudra Yojna.”

He said “state has written a new saga of development” under Chouhan. “Agriculture growth rate had been 18 per cent for the last five years. In 2007 area under irrigation schemes in the state was 7.5 lakh hectares. It has gone up to 40 lakh hectares,” he said.

At Indore, he accused the Congress of ignoring urban infrastructure during its rule at the Centre.

“Shortage of water, disorder in power supply, leaking sewage system, traffic jams on roads, widespread dirt and filth, this is the identity that Congress has given to our cities after its long rule but our government has taken upon itself to bring urban infrastructure to the levels of 21st century,” Modi said.

Describing Indore as the country’s “cleanest city”, he said cities were “energy centres” and the BJP-led government has spent Rs 2.30 lakh crores on urban renewal in the last four years compared to Rs 95,000 crore spent by Congress-led UPA in 10 years.

Expressing optimism about his government achieving its cleanliness target, he said: “This dream will be fulfilled and we will collectively do it. We have constructed more than eight crore toilets in the last four years”.

Modi inaugurated urban projects including houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects at Indore, which has retained its position as India cleanest city for second consecutive year.

He also distributed the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2018.

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Congress should apologize, act against Azad, Soz: Amit Shah

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Amit Shah

Jammu, June 23 : BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday asked the Congress to apologise for the statements of its senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Saifuddin Soz on Kashmir and dared it to take action against the two leaders.

Addressing a public rally here, he said that after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew support to the PDP-led coalition government, leading to its collapse, the Congress “started showing its true colours” in anticipation of elections.

The BJP President, who was on his first visit to the state after his party suddenly decided to withdraw support to the Mehbooba Mufti government, said that staying in power was not a priority for the BJP but “welfare and development of Jammu and Kashmir was its only objective”.

“Everyone feels that some day soon, elections will happen. While BJP raises slogans of ‘Bharat mata ki jai’, the Congress also started showing its true colours in anticipation of elections.

“Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad made a statement which I cannot even repeat here. And immediately after it, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) supported that statement,” Shah said.

Azad had said that “the Indian Army was killing more civilians than terrorists” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Shah asked the Congress to explain the reason behind shared views between LeT and one of its senior leaders.

Also slamming a statement by Congress leader Soz that former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was right in saying Kashmiris will prefer to be independent, he said that the BJP will never let it happen, and Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and it can’t be changed.

He asked the Congress to take action against the two leaders and also apologize to the nation for their statements.

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