Congress sought to paint Narendra Modi as anti-Dalit on the anniversary of B R Ambedkar today by citing a book written by the BJP's PM candidate which had spoken of manual scavenging as a "spiritual activity" and said it reflected his "anti-Dalit mindset".
On a day Modi attacked Congress for not giving the architect of Indian constitution his due, Congress accused him of doing precious little for the downtrodden despite ruling Gujarat over a dozen years.
Quoting from book titled 'Karamyog' authored by Modi, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said the Gujarat Chief Minister has articulated that Valmikis have been doing the job of manual scavenging not to sustain their livelihood but "as an unintentional spiritual activity for centuries".
Surjewala said the views of Modi "really reflects his anti-Dalit mindset emanating out of core RSS ideology, blatant prejudice, and anti-dalit framework in which Narendra Modi has been born and brought up."
Hours after Modi made a scathing attack on Congress for seeking to pocket the credit of empowering Dalits, Congress took potshots at Modi's Gujarat government for not filling thousands of government job vacancies of SCs and STs in the BJP-ruled state.
"There is a backlog of 27,900 vacancies of SCs and STs in the state of Gujarat even today. Even in the city and district of Ahmedabad, from where Narendra Modi has been elected to Assembly, as many as 3,125 SC students have not been given their SC scholarship also till day," Surjewala said.
Flanked by chairman of the AICC department for Scheduled Castes, K Raju, Surjewala narrated the "administrative failure" of Modi government in implementing the welfare measures meant for SCs and STs in Gujarat.
"State has a lopsided reservation policy of district-wise reservation. Surprisingly and under a strange system in Gujarat, district instead of state has been made the unit of implementation of reservation policy," he said.
Surjewala pointed out that inter-district filling of vacancies under reserve categories is not allowed, denying lakhs of job opportunities to dalits and backward classes, which go unfilled on account of ban on inter-district movement of qualified candidates.