Dalit issue: Heated debate in Lok Sabha; Congress, RJD stage walkout

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A heated debate took place in the Lok Sabha between the Congress and the BJP over allegations of “atrocities” against Dalits in Punjab.

Even as the BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal accused the Congress of misleading the House, members of Congress and other opposition parties walked out of the House.

It all began when Jyotiraditya Scindia of Congress referred to the chopping of limbs of two Dalit youths in Punjab and another incident in which a woman was run over by a bus owned by the Badals.

The SAD-BJP government came under severe attack after Congress alleged that three Dalit women were raped every day and an atrocity took place against Dalits every 18 minutes.

Mahajan disallowed Scindia for raising the issue during Zero Hour and expunged his comments against Badals. But when Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal wanted to reply, she was told it would put her family’s reference on record.

While MOS for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy was demanding his right to reply, members of Congress and other parties walked out.

Accusing the Congress of destabilising the government, Kaur alleged that, Congress leaders supported the demand for Khalistan.

Referring to the Dalit incident, Kaur alleged the Congress of playing “vote bank” politics with the issue. Most of the accused in the incident have been arrested and those absconding would be nabbed soon, said Kaur.

Also, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu accused the Congress of “misusing Parliament to destabilise a government”. “You first abuse, then walk out,” he said. The Congress members are also abusing the PM, he added.

To the Congress’ demand to dismiss Punjab government over the Dalit issue, Naidu said, if so Karnataka and UP governments too should be dismissed over MM Kalburgi’s murder and Dadri lynching.