Shillong: All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) general secretary Abhishek Banerjee has challenged NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu to come out and say on record that she won’t be subservient to the government. Only then will the Trinamool will support her as the presidential candidate, he added.
Banerjee, who was on his maiden visit to Shillong on Wednesday, made the statement while responding to a query about why the AITC is not supporting a tribal presidential candidate.
Banerjee said the TMC doesn’t believe in token representation and that the party will not support something that is “unethical”. He said the country had a President who belongs to the scheduled caste community for the last five years and who has never uttered a single word regarding Hathras, Unnao and Lakhimpur Kheri cases.
“A President who belongs to the scheduled caste was not invited when the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Ram Mandir was held. Out of 200 pandits, one Dalit was not invited. If you want to honor the ST community, you should address their problems,” said Banerjee.
He stated that more than 90% of the cases relating to the ST community are pending in court.
“If the BJP-led government wants to address the issues of the ST communities, why are they cutting down on the ST quotas and students scholarships?”
He also questioned how BJP-ruled states like Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are topping the chart when it comes to crimes against STs.
Banerjee said that if the government wants to empower the ST community, they should be given the absolute independence to work freely. The BJP wants to play caste dynamics just to serve their own political vested electoral interest and is not actually interested in uplift of the ST community or in their development, he added.
Challenging the BJP, Banerjee said, “I have the highest regard for Droupadi Murmu and her political legacy, but let her also come on record and say that in three months after she is elected as the President, 90% of cases against the ST community people will come down to zero.”
He challenged her to come out and say that scholarships for SC and ST students will not be reduced, and states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, who are topping the charts when it comes to atrocities against ST women and ST community, will have zero cases from next year onwards.
“Let her come and say that she will open her mouth and not pay heed to what the government or the Prime Minister or the home minister thinks. Let her come and say that she will not act as a subservient to the government. Let her say that she will work as the true custodian of the Constitution and then only (TMC) will support her,” stated Banerjee.
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