New Delhi, April 23: Hours before the launch of the Congress' massive "Save the Constitution" rally in the national capital on Monday, party president Rahul Gandhi tweeted urging all to take part in the event.
In his tweet in Hindi, Rahul outlined why the entire "protest" rally has been hosted. He stated that the rally is to stand with Dalit "brothers and sisters" to protest against the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and expose the discriminatory attitude of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) towards the Dalits.
SC/ST एक्ट में हुए बदलाव के विरोध में दलित भाइयों और बहनों के साथ खड़े होने के लिए और BJP/RSS की दलितों के प्रति भेदभाव की नीति को बेनक़ाब करने के लिए आज तालकटोरा मैदान में “संविधान बचाओ” रैली में शामिल हों।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 23, 2018
आपकी भागीदारी और सहयोग की अपेक्षा है।#SaveTheConstitution
The rally which will be flagged off from Delhi's Talkatora stadium is seen as the Congress' attempt to woo the Dalit voters ahead of the 2019 General Elections and the Karnataka Assembly elections scheduled on May 12 this year.
The rally, a campaign, will cover the length and breadth of the country and will end almost a year later on April 14, the birth anniversary of Dalit icon and father of the Indian Constitution BR Ambedkar.
"Ever since the RSS-supported BJP came to power at the Centre, the Indian Constitution has been under severe attack, in one form or the other, thereby, denying the marginalised sections of society their constitutional rights," chairman of Congress' Scheduled Castes department Nitin Raut said.
"The BJP-RSS combine is set to dismantle the social security available for SCs, STs and other weaker sections. The RSS ideology attacks the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. This would be countered by the Congress Party," he added.
Dalits form roughly 17 per cent of the country's electorate. There are 84 parliamentary seats reserved for candidates belonging to the scheduled castes. The BJP had bagged nearly half of the seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, reflecting on its success in politically key states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Earlier in April, Dalits in six states of the country hosted a protest over the Supreme Court's March 20 verdict allegedly diluting stringent provisions mandating immediate arrest under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act. The protest led to the deaths of at least 11 persons, most of whom were Dalits.