Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on 8 August raked up an old BSP slogan, which targeted upper castes, to hit back at BSP chief Mayawati over her criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Dalit issue.
The Information and Broadcasting Minister said BJP did not need a certificate from a leader who used the slogan 'tilak tarazu aur talwar, inko maro jute chaar', BSP's war cry to rally around Dalits which many alleged was an incitement for violence against upper castes.
The 'tilak' in Mayawati's slogan was construed as a reference to Brahmins, 'tarazu' to Vaishya or Bania community and 'talwar' to Kshatriyas or Rajputs. "People who used such language are giving us sermons. God save India," he said at a press conference.
He was asked about Mayawati's criticism of Modi following his strong denouncement of cow vigilantes for attacking Dalits. She called him 'Kumbhkarna', the mythical character of Ramayana who slept for six months at a stretch, and claimed Modi broke his silence as UP is nearing polls. Naidu said that when BJP was in the opposition, it was not allowed to raise state matters but now the opposition parties were claiming it (the assault on Dalits in states) is a national issue.
He also targeted the opposition parties for criticising Modi despite his strong rebuke to the vigilantes. "They will say why is PM silent? If he speaks in Hindi, they will say why in Hindi? If he speaks outside, they will say why not inside (Parliament)? If he speaks in the Lok Sabha, they will say why not in the Rajya Sabha? When he speaks, they will say he spoke very late. What is this? It is difficult to understand. Some people have this disease which should be cured," he said.
He hit out at the rival parties for picking out BJP-ruled states to highlight cases of atrocities against Dalits, saying it was a case of "selective pilgrimage". Such incidents, he said, have been happening long before Modi came to power. He blamed a few wrong people for such crimes, saying even animals and trees are worshipped in India.--PTI