NEW DELHI: The Congress on Wednesday accused the government of being anti-Dalit and exploiting the community in BJP-ruled states after the opposition was not allowed to discuss the violence in Maharashtra in Parliament as they also demanded a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The party questioned why was Modi silent on the incidents of violence that paralysed parts of Maharashtra.
"We gave a notice in Rajya Sabha that the proceedings in the House should be stopped and should discuss the attack and exploitation of the Dalit society in the past three and a half years," said Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.
"Where ever there is a BJP government, Dalits have been being exploited in the past three and a half years. They are being killed, beaten up, raped and then killed and also burnt alive," he said, adding that "Haryana has become an 'akhara' for such incidents".
"Similar is the case in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and shameful incidents in Gujarat."
"We are deeply pained for not being allowed to raise the issue of Dalits in the House. Even television (Rajya Sabha TV) was turned off, so that no one gets to know that there is opposition as well," he said.
"I strongly condemn this attitude on part of BJP. They are anti-Dalit. When we raise these issues, they accuse us of diverting the attention," he added.
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said: "The state government failed to provide protection to the people. NCP leader Sharad Pawarji got information that right-wing group people tried to stoke violence.
"We had demanded that a sitting Supreme Court judge should conduct an impartial inquiry. We wanted the Prime Minister to come and give a reply in the Parliament but he didn't. He never talks about the Dalits in the Parliament. Why is he silent on the issue?"
The shutdown called by various Dalit parties in Maharashtra on Wednesday was a fallout of Monday's riots in Pune district, during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Anglo-Maratha War of January 1, 1818.
Members of the Dalit community had gathered around the Victory Pillar erected by the British in Sanaswadi village when stone pelting started leading to the death of 28-year-old Rahul Fatangale.
At a separate press conference, party leader Veerappa Moily, referring to Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh chief Prakash Ambedkar -- the grandson of B.R. Ambedkar -- naming Shivjagar Pratisthan President Sambhaji Bhide Guruji and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti President Milind Ekbote as behind the riots, alleged that there were pictures of the two "talking intimately" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharshtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
"This is very strange that people who have to maintain peace, run the government, should associate very closely with the people who are known disrupters of peace, communal harmony and this has to be condemned," he said.