Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018 | Last Update : 11:56 PM IST

No question of changing SC/ST Act, says Ramdas Athawale

THE ASIAN AGE. | AMITA VERMA
Published : Sep 8, 2018, 12:46 am IST
Updated : Sep 8, 2018, 12:46 am IST

“We will not do anything that will dent BJP’s prospects but if we contest, we can dent the BSP’s vote bank here”, he said.

Union minister Ramdas Athawale (Photo: File)
 Union minister Ramdas Athawale (Photo: File)

Lucknow: Union minister Ramdas Athawale, on Friday, rejected the demand for withdrawal of the amendment in the SC/ST Act and said that all political parties had supported the amendment in Parliament. Mr Athawale said that the Act cannot be changed now and it was the duty of all castes to support Dalits on this issue. He said that he would soon meet representatives of upper castes and clear any misconceptions they may have.

“There is a need for a better coordination between upper castes and Dalits and this is what Dr Ambedkar also wanted. The apprehensions of upper castes about misuse of the SC/ST Act are baseless and chances of cases against them over verbal abuse are negligible”, he said. The minister blamed the opposition for triggering violence in BJP-ruled states on the issue. Replying to a question, Mr Athawale who heads the Republican Party of India (A), said that his party was ready to contest the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with the BJP.

 “We will not do anything that will dent BJP’s prospects but if we contest, we can dent the BSP’s vote bank here”, he said.

Mr Athawale said that the BJP would increase its tally to 300 seats from the 282 it was won in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ had made the BJP popular with all sections of society.

Tags: ramdas athawale, dalits, sc/st act, lok sabha elections