NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday raised the issue of Dalit struggle in the country and expressed displeasure so as to clarify that Kumar Vishwas' views against caste-based reservation were personal and should not be taken as the party's stand.
The party expressed support for reservation in education, jobs and in elections.
"There cannot be a competition between two individuals who don't stand on the same tangent. If one person stands at 0 and the other stands at 20, there is no point in putting their challenges on the same level and giving them same opportunities," AAP leader Sanjay Singh told the media here.
In a speech at AAP headquarters here in October, Kumar Vishwas had condemned the system of reservation, saying: "A man in the Indian history divided the country in the name of his so-called revolution of (caste-based) reservations. The effect of it is being felt even today.
"Similarly, the present government at the Centre will divide the country in the name of religion and that will create a long-lasting effect on the unity," he said.
Believing that Vishwas' remarks were against Bhim Rao Ambedkar, members of various social organisations have accused him of insulting Ambedkar and sought apologies.
Contrary to Vishwas' opinion on quota, Singh said the AAP supported reservations as "it is a party that works for the poor, the impoverished and the underprivileged sections of the society".
"An individual's opinion should not be used to defame the whole party."
He also took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying the party had not been able to curb violence against Dalits in the states ruled by them and was now "questioning AAP's stand" on it.
These remarks came after BJP MP Udit Raj announced that he would "ask AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal if he supports Kumar Vishwas' remark against Ambedkar that he destroyed social harmony by reservations".
Singh stressed upon the attacks on Dalits in BJP-ruled states by citing the incident in Una in Gujarat in July 2016, when some Dalit men accused of killing cows were assaulted in public.
He also referred to Rohit Vemula and other similar cases and said the BJP should take some action against such crimes and be responsible for the states run by their governments, rather than commenting on the AAP for no reason.