In the run-up to the Assembly election in Madhya Pradesh, a section of upper caste youths have intensified its protest against the recent constitutional amendment in the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the northern part of the state comprising Gwalior-Chambal region.
Leaders of both the BJP and the Congress are being targeted by the anti-reservationists.
On Saturday, youths aligned to the SAPAKS (Samanya Pichhda Alpsankhayak Kalyan Samaj) raised slogans in Vidisha against Union Minister of State MJ Akbar.
In Guna, Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot and Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia were forced to take police protection to come out of the backdoors of the circuit house in the face of angry protest by the youths. They were raising slogans against the amendment in the SC-ST Act.
In Bhind district, SAPAKS supporters tried to gherao the cars of BJP Lok Sabha member Bhagirath Prasad and state’s health minister Rustam Singh.
A day before, the anti-reservationists showed black flags to Scindia and BJP national vice-president Prabhat Jha in Gwalior district.
According to sources, the government has credible intelligence inputs that upper caste youths are planning to incite violence against leaders of the two main political parties in the caste-sensitive Chambal-Gwalior region. The administration is trying to ensure that Dalit youths don’t come out on the streets to counter anti-reservationists.
In April this year, seven Dalit youths were killed in police firing in Bhind-Morena region during a protest against the Supreme Court decision to dilute the SC/ST Act. Later, Parliament restored the provisions the court had struck down through a Constitutional amendment. Now the upper caste youths, mostly Brahmins and Rajputs, are opposing the amendment.
The SAPAKS intends to field candidates from all 230 seats in forthcoming Assembly polls.
SAPAKS patron Hiralal Trivedi says the organisation would also hold a mega rally of one lakh supporters in Bhopal in September.
The party was floated in June this year to counter the chief minister’s assertion that the BJP would support reservation in promotion of SC-ST employees.
In 2016, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said in a meeting of SC/ST employees’ union that no one on this earth can abolish reservation.