"They were in slumber like 'Kumbhakarna', but now their eyes have opened because there are Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and some other states and they know it well that Dalits were not going to vote for them. Thus, the Prime Minister's statement was aimed at winning Dalit votes. The statement was "notorious" (shararat poorn) and politically motivated," said Mayawati.
"We have been demanding a statement from PM Modi in Parliament against atrocities on Dalits across the country. But he could not muster his confidence to make a statement in the House, and thus, he made statements outside," said the BSP chief taking strong exception to the PM's statements in the Town Hall meeting in Delhi and BJP workers' meeting in Hyderabad.
"Two years on, since this government came to power at the Centre; and for the past two years, first, people of the Muslim community were targeted in the name of cow protection, and now Dalits are being targeted. Dalits are being targeted one pretext or another, as the case of Rohith Vemula is before you. But the BJP-led Central government, especially Prime Minister Modi, remained silent for the past two years," she said. Mayawati also criticised the silence maintained by Modi after the lynching of 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri and the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula on the Hyderabad University premises.
When asked about former BSP MLA Swami Prasad Maurya joining the BJP, she said she doesn't want to waste her "time and energy" by commenting on the likes of him.
In an unusual expression of solidarity with the Dalit community that faced the wrath of so-called 'cow protectors' in Gujarat recently, PM Modi on 7 August went hammer and tongs at them, saying if they want to shoot, they should shoot him, but not his "Dalit brothers".
The Prime Minister further said, "Politics of breaking the society is not good for the country and discrimination among human beings is not acceptable to us.. We have to protect the marginalised and the Dalits. It is our duty."
-With ANI inputs