Playing caste card? Mayawati alleges discrimination against Dalits in giving Bharat Ratna

Lucknow, Dec 3: BSP supremo Mayawati today charged the NDA government with discriminating against Dalit icons like Kanshi Ram while awarding Bharat Ratna to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Madan Mohan Malviya. She also attacked the Narendra Modi government for adopting the "ordinance route" on key issues.

"Just like the previous Congress-led UPA government, the NDA government is adopting the same discriminatory attitude while honouring two persons of the same caste - Vajpayee and Malviya - with the Bharat Ratna recently," she told a press conference here.

Bharat Ratna: BSP alleges discrimination

"Kanshi Ram should have been honoured keeping in mind his sacrifices and contribution.

Similarly, Jyotiba Phule, who belonged to a backward caste, should have been given the award for his work in the field of education and efforts to establish equality in society," she said. "Many other deserving persons have been ignored," she rued. Taking exception to the Modi government adopting the ordinance route, Mayawati said this was not in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution.

Her remarks came against the backdrop of ordinance amending the Land Acquisition Act envisaging procuring land for industrial corridors, rural infrastructure, defence and housing, and insurance ordinance raising foreign investment limit in the sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent, besides an ordinance to push coal auction. On the land acquisition ordinance, she said it was against the interest of farmers. "I do not find it right...the amendments could have been brought in the next session of Parliament." 


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