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‘Centre will argue with full authority against SC/ST Act’s dilution’

 New Delhi, April 2: Amid countrywide protests over the Supreme Court’s order to dilute the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said the government will argue the matter with full authority in the apex court for the verdict’s reconsidertion.

The Minister also hit out at the Congress for “politicising” the issue and listed the BJP-led government’s actions in favour of the margilised sections, including giving the country a Dalit President. “Today (Monday), we have filed a review petition in the Supreme Court… It is important to note that the government was not a party in the proceedings at all. “On behalf of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, every comprehensive review has been filed and the government, with due respect, does not agree with the reasoning given by the apex court,” Prasad told reporters in the Parliament House complex. He said as far as the judgment was concerned, “surely senior lawyers of the government in the apex court will argue this matter with all their legal preparations and authority that this judgment needs to be reconsidered”.
Prasad said the government and the Bharatiya Jata Party were committed to the welfare of SCs and STs and alleged that opposition parties, including the Congress, were politicising the issue. “Some people did politics in the me of Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar but the country knows who gave real respect to Dr Ambedkar. Today, the Congress is shouting. I want to ask them when was Ambedkar given the Bharat Rat. “He was awarded the Bharat Rat by the then V.P. Singh government, supported by the BJP, in 1990. They ruled the country from 1956 to 1989, barring two years of Morarji Desai government. Why was he not given Bharat Rat? Today, the Congress is questioning us. The BJP has the maximum number of SC/ST MPs and MLAs,” the Minister said.
He claimed that the BJP-led government at the Centre and party governments in states were working for the welfare of the backward communities. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment under Thawarchand Gehlot has taken a lot of initiatives for their welfare, Prasad said. “A very respected Dalit leader was made President of India by the BJP-led government. This is our commitment to the Dalits,” he added. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita