BJP chief faces Dalits' wrath over Hegde's Constitution jibe

BJP chief faces Dalits' wrath over Hegde's Constitution jibe

The Day One of BJP president Amit Shah's tour of old Mysore region on Friday began on an embarassing note with Dalit leaders confornting him on continuation of Union Minister of State for Skill Development Anantkumar Hegde in the Council of Ministers, despite his statement that the Constitution would be changed.

At an interaction Shah had with with Dalit leaders at Rajendra Kalamandira here, the participants questioned the logic behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi continuing Hegde in the ministry. BJP state vice president V Srinivas Prasad told Shah that the people see the party as 'anti-Dalit' due to Hegde's statements.

When Shah claimed that the BJP has no connection with Hegde's statement, Choranahalli Shivanna and his supporters condemned Shah and raised slogans against him. "Though Hegde defamed the Constitution compiled by Dalit leader B R Ambedkar, the BJP has not dropped him from the ministry. You (Shah) have been claiming that the BJP has no connection with his statements. We have no faith in your words," they said.

Commotion prevailed as participants rained several questions and did not even allow Shah to answer them.

When MP Pratap Simha directed party volunteers to evict the participants who were behaving arrogantly, some
of them left the venue
shouting slogans against the dignitaries.

When Shah continued his speech, someyouths, apprentice with the Railways, alleged that Karnataka Dalits are being neglected by the Centre with regard to promotions. They forced Shah to receive their memorandum.

Shah said Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal have discussed the issue and will take appropriate measures.

Shah also attended a Scheduled Tribes convention in Chamarajanagar town.