The Narendra Modi government has taken serious note of the open resentment of four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Dalit MPs and the recent Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-polls defeat at the hands of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine.
The Centre has asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to set his house in order before party national president Amit Shah lands in Lucknow on April 11 to take stock of the situation.
The anti-Dalit tag by the Opposition after the violence over the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, by the Supreme Court and the resentment of four MPs from the community-Savitri Bai Phule, Chhote Lal, Yashwant Singh and Ashok Kumar Dohre-has apparently rattled the BJP high command.
Phule, Lal, Dohre and Singh had alleged discrimination and atrocities by the Yogi government. Besides, a series of tweets posted by Delhi Dalit MP Udit Raj have already created ripples across the party.
Sources told that Adityanath was instructed by Modi himself to resolve the matter at the earliest. During a recent meeting with the PM, the CM was asked to put his house in order and speak to the dissident MPs.
Dohre told India Today, “A lot of fake cases have been registered against innocent Dalits after Bharat Bandh. In my letter addressed to the PM, I have expressed my concern about the spurt in police atrocities on Dalits.” Phule had alleged that some Union ministers and BJP MPs were pursuing anti-Dalit policies and conspiring to end reservations for the SC/ ST.
After the by-poll drubbing, pressure has been building on the BJP and Adityanath in particular. Now, with a slew of allegations from within, the BJP can’t afford to brush it under the carpet with 2019 elections just a year away.
Sources within the BJP suggest that allies in the state like Apna Dal and MLA Om Prakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party will also be part of the meeting. The direction to Adityanath is clear: undo the damage.
The allegations by the four BJP Dalit MPs came in the backdrop of the alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act. Though the government was quick to file a review petition in the apex court, the Opposition had already created a nationwide narrative that BJP-ruled states are against Dalits, which was reiterated by Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday.