Congress attitude of treating Dalits patronising: Shah to Rahul

New Delhi : BJP President Amit Shah on Thursday advised Congress President Rahul Gandhi to give "some time to facts", accusing his party of treating Dalits with "patronising and condescending" attitude.

"Rahulji, when you are free from winking and disrupting Parliament, give some time to facts as well. NDA Government, through a Cabinet decision and in Parliament ensured the strongest amendment to the Act. Why are you protesting that?" Shah said in a series of tweets.

The Bharatiya Janata Party chief's remarks came soon after Gandhi said the government's "anti-Dalit mindset" became clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi rewarded with re-employment a judge who diluted an Act that sought to deter atrocities against the marginalized.

Gandhi also said the BJP and the governments it led at the Centre had no space for Dalits in their hearts.

"Would have been good if Congress President would have spoken about his party's treatment towards Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Babu Jagjivan Ram and Sitaram Kesari. Congress way of treating Dalits is patronising and condescending. For years Congress insulted Dalit aspirations," Shah alleged.

The Supreme Court had in a March 20 ruling laid down stringent safeguards, including provisions for anticipatory bail and a "preliminary enquiry" before registration of a case under the Act, citing instances of its abuse for political or personal reasons.

The ruling had angered Dalits. On July 6, Justice Goel retired from the Supreme Court. On the same day, he was appointed the NGT chairman.

The government had made an amendment to the 1989 act that overturned the Supreme Court ruling and restored the provision for immediate arrest of an accused.

The amendment was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Rajya Sabha MP also said: "Is it a co-incidence that the year Sonia Gandhi joined the Congress, the Third Front-Congress government opposed reservations in promotions and the year Rahul Gandhi becomes Congress President, they oppose a tough SC/ST Act and OBC Commission! Anti-backward mindset visible."