LUCKNOW: Ruling out a possibility to conceded to the demand for withdrawal of amendment in the SC/ST Act, 1989, Republican Party of India (RPI) chief and Union minister Ramdas Athawale said that it was a collective decision taken by all political parties together in the Parliament.
Athawale said that the Act could not be changed now and it was the duty of all sections of society to support Dalits on this issue. Expressing concern over the protests by upper castes and OBCs aga9inst the amendment in the Act, the RPI chief said that he would soon meet representatives of upper castes and clear the misconceptions over the issue they had.
"There is a need for a better coordination among various sections of society, especially, between upper castes and Dalits and this is what Dr Ambedkar also wanted," said Athawale.
He added the fear of misuse of the Act by Dalits against upper castes were misplaced as the chances of cases against them over verbal abuse are negligible, he claimed.
The union squarely blamed the opposition parties for inciting protests and violence in BJP-ruled states on the issue.
"It is more of a political conspiracy against the ruling alliance in the election year," he maintained. The RPI chief expressed his party's wish to contest a few, 3-4, Lok Sabha seats in alliance with the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
"We won't do anything dent the prospects of the BJP but we can sure snatch a seat or two from the BSP if we contest here," he stated. Rejecting the opposition's claim that BJP would lose seats this time around, Athawale claimed that BJP's tally would touch the figure of 300 in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The ruling party had 282 in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi governance had delivered results and that the people were by and large happy with the present Central government.