Summing up the recent developments across the country, the Shiv Sena, in the editorial of its mouthpiece Saamna, launched a scathing attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre. The editorial pulled up the Union Government over the violence during a nationwide bandh by Dalits to protest the softening of provisions of the SC/ST Act and said it reflected 'weak leadership' at the Centre.
Saamna editorial also raked up the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, saying that while diamond jeweller Nirav Modi "looted" the nation, the present government was "breaking" the country.
Sena also slammed the BJP for accusing the Congress of fuelling violence with an eye on votes and said if the same logic is true then it would also hold true for riots in Asansol (West Bengal).
The Asansol-Raniganj belt had witnessed clashes between two groups over Ram Navami celebrations, resulting in the death of one person. Two police officers were also injured in the clashes.
"Creating a social divide and fanning riots for the sake of votes is political corruption. Nirav Modi looted the nation, however, the present dispensation is breaking the nation," the Sena said, lashing out at the ruling NDA.
If PM Modi is famous among the masses, he should have made attempts to stop Dalits from indulging in violence, said the Sena, an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
Six people were killed in Madhya Pradesh, two in Uttar Pradesh and one in Rajasthan in the wake of the nationwide shutdown call given by Dalits who were protesting against the Supreme Court verdict on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Other states hit with violence included Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and Delhi.
Congress Rahul Gandhi tweeted,"Keeping Dalits at the bottom of the society is in the RSS/BJP's DNA. Those who challenge this thinking, they suppress them with violence. Thousands of Dalit siblings are now on the streets demanding protection of their rights from the Modi government. We salute them."
"We were not part of the initial Supreme Court judgment. We have come up with a strong, comprehensive review petition and filed it in the apex court. "We, the government, do not agree with the judgment of the Supreme Court. We are committed to the Dalits. We want Dalits to progress and we are at their service," said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Some BJP leaders also blamed the Congress for inciting Dalits over the matter.
The Supreme Court had on March 20 diluted the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in a bid to protect honest public servants discharging bona fide duties from being blackmailed with false cases under the Act.
OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)