COIMBATORE, TAMIL NADU: Vowing to protect the rights of Dalits, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said there was no question of scrapping reservation for them and lashed out at the Opposition for spreading “lies” in this regard.
Virtually kicking off his party’s poll campaign for the upcoming Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, PM Modi told a well attended rally that the Opposition was feeling jittery following the NDA government’s efforts to highlight the achievements of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar.
“Dalits should progress, till the time Dr Ambedkar’s name is there, reservation for Dalits would be there,” he asserted.
PM Modi said steps like dedicating the first two days of the Winter Session of Parliament to commemorating the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar and acquiring the latter’s house in London has rattled the Opposition as it thought the Dalit community was its vote-bank.
He accused the Opposition of unnecessarily blaming the government for all untoward incidents against Dalits.
Referring to steps taken by his government to push growth, he said international bodies like the World Bank and IMF had projected India as among the fastest growing economies.
“Across the world, be it organisations like the World Bank or Credit agencies, if there is one country which they see as a bright spot of growth, it is India,” he said.
“Imagine how the situation was just two years ago,” he said, adding the government then was mired in scams and scandals.
In the past one-and-a-half-years, however, every section of the people has faith and expectation from the BJP-led NDA government.
Lashing out at Congress and other Opposition parties he said: “To some it pains and gives concern that a tea vendor won (the election) and that too with full majority,” he said.
He criticised the Congress for disrupting the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha in the last session and termed the party “anti-labour and anti-poor”.
He began his speech at the CODISSIA (Coimbatore District Small Industries Association) grounds in Coimbatore with “Vanakkam, Indru Covaikku Vanthathil Magizhchi,” (greetings, I am happy to be here in Coimbatore today).
Expressing his happiness at the sight of “sea of humanity”, he thanked the people for their love.
PM Modi arrived in Coimbatore on a day’s visit after participating in an Ayruveda conclave in Kerala.