A day after Congress’ Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu was booked for allegedly hurting the sentiments of BSP workers after he flayed the SAD for giving away “pious” seats like Anandpur Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib to the Bahujan Samaj Party, the politics over the issue is heating up in the state with the opposition parties demanding action.
While the Akali Dal on Tuesday met the Punjab SC Commission demanding a case against Bittu for hurting sentiments of Dalits, BJP asked the Congress party to suspend him from the party as his statement has insulted Sikh gurus’ ideology and also the Constitution.
SAD filed a complaint against the Congress MP Bittu with the Punjab State Scheduled Caste Commission requesting it to register a case against him for passing casteist remarks against Dalits and hurting the sentiments of the SC community in the State.
A SAD delegation, including party legislators Pawan Kumar Tinu, Dr Sukhwinder Sukhi and Baldev Khaira, apprised the SC Commission chairperson Tejnder Kaur besides its other members about Bittu’s video wherein he uttered objectionable remarks against the SC community.
The delegation demanded that the Commission act on the issue immediately to prevent a flare up in the State.
“The Commission has assured us that it would take necessary action in the matter. We hope the Commission will act in the interest of the Dalit community and will not be influenced by the Congress government and give a clean chit to the MP,” said Tinu.
He said that the Dalit community across the State was shocked at Bittu’s statement in which he claimed that the “holy” seats of Anandpur Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib should not have been given to the BSP under its alliance with the SAD. “This amount to saying that Dalits as well as the BSP are unholy. Our community cannot tolerate this insult. The Guru Sahiban preached equality between all castes and this equality is also assured to us under the Constitution,” he added. Underlining that Bittu’s statement had exposed the anti-Dalit mentality of the Congress party, Tinu said that the ruling party is yet to react officially to the statement and has not taken any action against him. “This indicates that the Congress supports Bittu’s assertions,” he said while announcing that in case the SC Commission and the State Government do not act in the matter, the SAD would intensify its campaign to seek justice in the case.
Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh said that Congress MP has not only insulted people of the backward classes but also the Sikh gurus and the Constitution by making this statement.
“It is the most reprehensible casteist remark which reflected the Congress’ perverse thinking…While the Sikh Gurus kept preaching the message of equality saying ‘Rangrete Guru Ke Bete’, Bittu has heaped a humiliating insult to the SC people of the State who deserve equal respect and place in the State as others,” said Chugh asking if Bittu wanted to say that an SC candidate cannot contest the election from Guru's seat?
Chugh bemoaned that the Guru’s message of “sangat and pangat” has been ridiculed by Bittu by giving such a reprehensible statement.
“Bittu has also insulted Ambedkar's thought that is all about bringing equality and respect for all in society…SC people in Punjab have contributed enormously to the development of Punjab. They are as much part of the State's culture as other communities are so they deserve to be treated with respect,” said Chugh asking Bittu to tender an unconditional apology while demanding from the Congress high command to take disciplinary action against Bittu.
Notably, Bittu had posted a video on his Facebook page, commenting on the newly-forged SAD-BSP alliance. However, he later also posted another video giving clarification, it was rejected by the state;’s opposition parties.
“My statement has been misinterpreted. I only meant to say that the Akali Dal had deserted Panthic seats. I never passed any comment against Dalits. BSP doesn’t imply Dalits as the party has workers from all castes. My political mentor Malkit Singh Dakha is a Dalit,” Bittu had clarified.