After Dadri lynching episode, the Dalit attack in Haryana sparked a fresh bout of acrimonious exchanges between rival parties today with Rahul Gandhi alleging it was the result of the “attitude” shared by the Prime Minister, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that if somebody is weak, he can be “crushed.”
Significantly, BJP ally and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, a dalit leader, sought to fix the responsibility on the Haryana government for the death of two children of a Dalit family who were burnt alive in Sonped village of the state during the attack allegedly by upper caste people.
Bihar’s Grand Alliance leaders–Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD President Lalu Prasad–targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the attack, asking where are those people who claimed to bring their party to power and that everything will be fine. Polling is underway in Bihar.
Reacting to the dig by Nitish and Lalu, BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, a former deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, charged the two leaders with shedding ‘fake tears’ over the incident, apparently with an eye on the sizeable votes of dalits in Bihar assembly polls.
“The Faridabad incident is condemnable, but the RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has conveniently forgotten that during his party’s 15 years’ rule in Bihar, hundreds of dalits were massacred,” he said in a series of tweets.
After visiting the Dalit family, Rahul, Congress Vice President, said, “This is an attitude shared by the Prime Minister, Chief Minister of the state and the entire BJP and RSS. The attitude is if somebody is weak, he can be crushed. What you have seen is the result of this attitude.
Paswan sought to fix the responsibility on the BJP government in Haryana for the attack.
“Law and order is totally state government’s accountability… though the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes have constitutional protection, this issue is completely state government’s responsibility,” he said.
Prasad, in a tweet, said, “I had demanded that the anti-Dalit books by Modi and Guru Golwalkar be burned but in their rule Dalit themselves are being burned.”
“Along with scrapping reservation, in the rule of BJP and RSS, Dalits who are beneficiaries of reservation are being set on fire,” Prasad said in another tweet.
Nitish also hit out at the NDA government over the incident.
“Shocked at this gruesome incident. Where are those now who claimed ‘hamari sarkar bana do sab theek ho jayega’ (bring my government to power and everything will be okay),” Nitish tweeted.
While 58 dalits were massacred in Laxmanpur Bathe village in Arwal district, 21 others were killed in another massacre in Bathani Tola village in Bhojpur district and 34 in Miyapur village in Aurangabad district during the RJD’s 15 years’ rule in Bihar, Sushil Modi said.
“The Laxmanpur Bathe massacre in December 1997 had horrified the country so much so that the then President (K.R. Narayan) had described it as a ‘national shame’,” the BJP leader recalled.