Hindutva pitch: SC leaders in NDA wary

Hindutva pitch: SC leaders in NDA wary

VHP activists during a procession in prior to their 'Janagraha Rally', organised to push for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, in Bengaluru. (PTI Photo)

Leaders from the Scheduled Caste communities of the NDA have become restive after the BJP began raising the Hindutva pitch.

While the VHP has escalated the Ram temple pitch and the BJP’s star campaigners, including Yogi Adityanath, are raising the temperature on Hindutva politics, Scheduled Caste leaders in the NDA camp have given an indication that they are not quite comfortable with it.

On Monday, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan categorically said that Ram temple issue may not affect the 2019 Lok Sabha poll outcome and that the talk of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ evokes among the Scheduled Castes fear of the revival of the caste system.

On Tuesday, a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, Savitri Bai Phule, dubbed Ram “Manuvadi” and dismissed the Ram temple pitch saying that the country does not need a temple and asked will it end unemployment and other problems faced by the Scheduled Castes and other “backward” communities.

Ban demanded

After a group of alleged ‘gaurakshaks’ turned violent in Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, NDA ally Om Prakash Rajbhar on Tuesday demanded a ban on the Bajrang Dal and the VHP, putting the blame squarely on them for the violence in which a police inspector and a local resident were killed.

Rajbhar, who heads the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), alleged that the two organisations are creating a rift between Hindus and Muslims with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Away from the BJP’s cacophony on the Ram Temple issue, MP Udit Raj, a Scheduled Caste leader, on Monday courted arrest in Delhi after organising a mass rally voicing concern about the unjust judicial system and demanding reservation for SC/STs in the judiciary.

Earlier, Scheduled Caste groups in Uttar Pradesh reacted sharply to Adityanath government’s decision to add ‘Ramji’ to BR Ambedkar’s name in all official records.