Even as NDA Government and Opposition parties are all set for presidental elections with Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar, both Dalits, as their respective candidates, Una’s Balu Sarvaiya does not see his aspirations fulfilled or his fears addressed by either of them, says Indian Express report.
Pointing out a picture of BSP supremo Mayawati, he said , ““We are with whoever she is,” says Balu, 47, pointing to pictures of the BSP chief, along with B R Ambedkar and the Buddha hanged on the wallof his home at Mota Samadhiyala village in Gujarat. Last year, he was the face of massive Dalit protests after his two sons and two nephews were tied to a vehicle and flogged on suspicion of having killed a cow . The investigations by police had later revealed the cow was killed by a lion.
With days to go for presidential election, and almost a year after the Una incident, Sarvaiya was among group of Dalits gathered in a room in Gir Gadhada listening to a BSP leader charting a political position.
“We are soon going to see the election of our country’s President. Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar are the two candidates. Till today, did we get to know what caste Pratibha Patil belonged to? Or Pranab Mukherjee? Now, they say it will be a Dalit Rashtrapati and that they are ours. We all know how much the Centre loves us, we have seen that in the last 65 years,” Gautam Jadav, from Vadviyala village told Indian express. Among those, who were also present in the room were nephews, Bechar, 30, and Ashok, 20, whose terrified faces were captured on a mobile footage of the flogging in 2016.
The Gujarat Police have so far arrested 43 persons in the flogging case, including four policemen for allegedly distorting case records, and filed a chargesheet last year. As many as twenty accused, are out on bail.
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However, Balu is angry that the government saying the government did not keep any of its promises”. “Anandiben (the then Gujarat CM), Rahulbhai (Rahul Gandhi) and Arvind Kejriwal had come. They said that in 90 days, we will complete the case. The government said it would run the case in a special court. But nothing has been done,” he tells Indian Express.