I have ideological differences with my party, says BJP leader Udit Raj

BJP MP for North-West Delhi and Chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, Udit Raj in an interview with National Herald’s Vishwadeepak expressed concern over dilution of stringent provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

“Weakening of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is not acceptable in any circumstances”, he said asking for a review of the petition. He also mentioned Rohit Vemula, a Dalit student who had allegedly committed suicide, saying ‘RSS-affiliated ABVP can’t be absolved from its role in his death.

Udit was asked about his reaction on the recent Supreme Court ruling on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) and he said that he was concerned about the bias. “The court has said that only 10-12% case registered under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act are genuine, rest are motivated or fabricated. But I would ask then what does the court thinks about cases registered under Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and anti-rape laws? Many believe that 70% registered under these acts are also motivated. Will the court dissolve these acts also? Instead of rectifying its loopholes, the law itself is being dissolved. Supreme Court does not have the right to do so,” Raj replied.

Whether Raj tried to contact the prime minister

On being questioned about whether he had raised the matter with the PM, he said that he had been trying to call PM Modi, but did not get any time. He further said that BJP needs to go to the court to file a review petition, and if they fail to do so then they should pass the bill in the parliament. “Prevention of atrocities on the weaker sections is guaranteed by the constitution but sadly that is also being diluted. After the Supreme Court ruling, SC/ST Act has become poorer than the general laws,” Raj answered.

On NCRB data, that shows Dalit atrocities recorded a jump in the time of BJP rule

Raj says that atrocities and discrimination against Dalits are more deep-rooted in the society rather than the government. “We need social reform which has not happened in the society,” he said

About Raj’s claims that he is a follower of Baba Saheb Ambedkar

“I am politically affiliated with the BJP, not ideologically. Social, ideological and religious affiliations are not necessary to work with a party. I am a Buddhist, and I believe in Buddhism, but they do not. This is the first difference between us.Their religious beliefs are different than mine,” he said.

“I want to abolish the caste system but they do not.As far as ideological differences are concerned, let me tell you I do have ideological differences with my party. I had joined the BJP on the condition that Dalits would be given greater participation in media, education and in government jobs,” he added.

Udit Raj’s stand on Rohit Vemula suicide case. He was asked if BJP promotes casteism, and whether justice was done in his case?

Udit said, “It is wrong to say that Vemula was a communist, that is why he was opposing ABVP. The root cause of his suicide is caste discrimination. ABVP cannot be given clean chit or be absolved of its role. I have already said that it should be investigated thoroughly.”

(This interview was originally done by National Herald)