Rahul Gandhi To Launch Year-Long 'Save The Constitution' Campaign, Reach Out To Dalits Today

Congress' 'Save The Constitution' campaign, which will be launched from the Talkatora stadium in Delhi today, will continue till April 14 next year - the birth anniversary of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar.

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Rahul Gandhi To Launch Year-Long 'Save The Constitution' Campaign, Reach Out To Dalits Today

Rahul Gandhi will launch the year-long 'Save the Constitution' campaign and outreach to Dalits today


New Delhi:  Congress president Rahul Gandhi will launch his party's nationwide 'Save the Constitution' campaign today, aiming to highlight the alleged attacks on the Constitution and Dalits in recent times.

Seen as the Congress party's effort to reach out to the Dalit community ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the campaign launch is expected to be attended by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, party general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, its senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Sushil Kumar Shinde among others.

The campaign, which will be launched from the Talkatora stadium in Delhi today, will continue till April 14 next year - the birth anniversary of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar.

Congress' present and former Dalit lawmakers, those holding offices in zilla parishad, civic bodies and panchayat samitis, the party's office-bearers attached to its regional units will also attend the event, aimed at sensitising the attendees on the current state of affairs with regard to the community.

The attendees are expected to take the message forward, holding similar campaigns in states to reach out to the Dalit community members, sources in the party told news agency PTI.

"Ever since the RSS-supported BJP came to power at the centre, the Indian Constitution has been under severe attack, in one form or the other, thereby, denying the marginalised sections of society their constitutional rights," chairman of Congress' Scheduled Castes department Nitin Raut alleged in a statement.

Adding to his allegation, he accused, "The BJP-RSS combine is set to dismantle the social security available for SCs, STs and other weaker sections. The RSS ideology attacks the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. This would be countered by Congress Party."

Mr Raut also hit out at the central government over the Supreme Court's March 20 verdict allegedly diluting stringent provisions mandating immediate arrest under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act. Mr Raut accused the government of "intentional failure" to place before the Supreme Court background and relevant facts relating to the act "holistically".

"The action of the government is in itself an atrocity on the SCs and STs," he claimed.

Another party leader, wishing not to be named, told news agency PTI that "The community is being denied opportunities in spheres of education and jobs. The programme aims to highlight these issues nationwide."

Dalits form roughly 17 per cent of the country's electorate. There are 84 parliamentary seats reserved for candidates belonging to the scheduled castes. The BJP had bagged nearly half of the seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, reflecting on its success in politically key states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
 


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