In his second visit to Telangana in less than a week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday promised to form a committee for the sub-categorisation of Scheduled Castes.
He was addressing a massive rally organised in Secunderabad by the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi ahead of the Assembly elections in Telangana on November 30.
The Madigas, who constitute 60% of the Scheduled Caste population in the state, have been demanding a separate numerical survey of Dalit castes and quotas in accordance to their numerical strength, The Indian Express reported.
The Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi has argued that quota benefits are being “cornered” by some groups who wield more political influence and have traditionally been less disadvantaged.
“We [the Bharatiya Janata Party] are committed to end this injustice at the earliest…It is our promise that we will soon constitute a committee that will adopt all possible ways for empowering you,” Modi said at Saturday’s rally. “You and we also know that a big legal process is going on in the Supreme Court. We consider your struggle to be just.”
Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi founder Manda Krishna Madiga broke down after Modi said he supports the community’s cause.
The prime minister asserted that the BJP alone can ensure social justice to the people of Telangana.
Modi criticised the Congress, saying the party did not allow the architect of India’s Constitution, BR Ambedkar, to win elections twice. “For decades together, the Congress ensured that Babasaheb’s portrait was not put up in the old Parliament, Central Hall…Babasaheb was not given the Bharat Ratna for decades together because of the Congress,” he claimed.
Modi also accused the Bharat Rashtra Samithi government in the state of betraying the Scheduled Caste communities.
He said that during the agitation for a separate state of Telangana, which was formed in 2014, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi had promised to make a Dalit as the first chief minister. However, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had “encroached” on the chair after crushing the aspirations of every Dalit, he alleged.
“BRS is anti-Dalit and the Congress is no less than that,” he said.