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Caste

SC/ST Act Amendment: BJP MLA Wants Non-Dalits to Vote NOTA in Reserved Constituencies

Surendra Singh, who has a history of making inflammatory statements, said the amendments violate basic principles of justice and constitution and said he would launch an agitation against the law.

New Delhi: Apparently perturbed over the parliament passing an amendment restoring the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Surendra Singh – BJP MLA from Bairia (Balliya) – said he would launch an ‘agitation’ against the law.

According to a report in the Indian Express, Singh said he would appeal to all non-Dalits voters in reserved constituencies to choose NOTA in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Singh has a history of making communal, misogynistic and casteist statements.

Singh said it was his “duty to secure the honour and rights of the society” which elected him. “I will do whatever it takes to fight for the right of my community,” he said. He is willing to quit politics and resign from all the posts to focus on the movement, the MLA claimed.

Speaking to the Indian Express, he said, “Amendments in the SC/ST Act are against the basic principles of humanity, law, justice and constitution. How can a person be proven guilty and sent to jail without an inquiry. I will soon plan a movement against the amendment, which kills the basic principles of justice.”

He also stated that Dalits had become a “loot machine” for political parties which did not care about “poor and deprived among general or other categories”. Requesting non-Dalits to choose NOTA option in reserved constituencies in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Singh said, “Let all see where Dalits go on their own and who wins just by their votes.”

The parliament on August 9 passed a Bill to overturn a Supreme Court order restricting the Prevention of Atrocities Act. The top court in March this year had passed an order providing some ‘safeguards’ to public servants. It ruled that there cannot be a complete ban on anticipatory bail in cases related to SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and that police must conduct a preliminary investigation before arresting the accused. The amendment overturned the dilution and restored the original provisions.

Surendra Singh, the BJP MLA, had earlier threatened to resign from his post protesting the amendment.

In the past, Singh has made several statements of an inflammatory nature. He compared BSP chief Mayawati to a “buffalo”, saying she could not be taught any etiquette. He accused her of being corrupt and that even if the BJP tried to impart some ‘sanskar‘ to her, it would be in vain. Singh also launched a tirade against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, calling her ‘Surpanakha’ for allegedly turning a blind eye towards violence against Hindus.

He also made headlines in defending fellow BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar, the accused in the Unnao rape case. Singh then said, “I am speaking from the psychological point of view, no one can rape a mother of three children. It is not possible. This is a conspiracy against him [Sengar].”

Just last month, Singh claimed the majority status of the Hindu population was under threat. He requested Hindu couples to have “at least five children” to “balance the population”. His statements indicate a reference to the popular myth of Muslim population soon overtaking the Hindu population, which has been debunked several times over.