BSP Supremo Mayawati (IANS)

Mayawati Slams BJP, Says ‘Playing Dalit Card is Not Right’

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the parliament to forgive Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti for her remarks, mentioning “she comes from a rural background,” BSP Chief Mayawati raised her voice against BJP using the term of “dalit woman” and claimed she does not belong to the dalit community.

Mayawati alleged that “BJP is playing dalit card”. She said, “BJP is saying that she is a dalit woman and this is untrue. Playing dalit card in not right. The minister neither belongs to the dalit community nor does she hail from scheduled caste community. She is from the backward Nishad caste.”

While emphasising Modi’s comment on her background, she said, “The Prime Minister claims that her background should be kept in mind. It would be improper to bring the whole Nishad community into this. There are many including MPs from the Nishad community in their party.”

Seeking action against the minister for the controversial remarks she made, Mayawati said if she is incompetent, another one from the community should be placed instead of her. If the minister is incompetent or has made an objectionable statement, then she should be removed and another person from that community should replace her.”

On Friday, there were wide protests from the opposition parties regarding the issue, which led the house to be adjourned for about 20 minutes during the Question hour. Meanwhile, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi appeared with a black band across his face as a mark of protest.

Modi has then mentioned that he has noticed the issue and expressed his annoyance before it was raised in Parliament. He has said, “I am grateful to leaders in Lok Sabha for allowing House to function amid the controversy. The House should allow the matter to rest now.”

Earlier, opposition parties had criticised the PM’s stand on the issue. Congress party had questioned the “culpable silence” of Prime Minister on Jyoti’s hate speech earlier whereas after, Modi had warned all his ministers and MPs against using derogatory language and said it won’t be tolerated.

The controversy came up ahead of Delhi Assembly polls when Union Minister Jyoti said, “Aapko tay karna hai ki Dilli mein sarkar Ramzadon ki banegi ya haramzadon ki”(You have to decide if you want a government in Delhi to be led by children of Lord Ram or illegitimate children), during a campaign rally in Delhi.

However, the minister had apologised for her remarks, saying, “I take back my words and offer regret. However, if the House feels so, I am also ready to seek an apology.” While there was protest in Lok Sabha, Jyoti had said, “My intention was not to hurt anyone. If my speech has hurt anyone, I express my deep


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