New Delhi: Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on Sunday said that the Narendra Modi government was trying to restore reservation for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
"The JMI and AMU are central universities but the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government made them minority institutions. And hence reservation for SC and ST students does not apply there. But these are funded by the central government. Any institution funded or aided by the Central government must have provisions of reservation for SC, ST and OBCs as per the Central government rules. We have presented our side in the Supreme Court and also submitted a changed affidavit. Now waiting for apex court's response," Mr Gehlot said.
"He said that the Modi government will "never end reservation nor let others do it".
He also targeted fellow Dalit leader and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, saying she was digressing from the path of party founder Kanshi Ram.
"Kanshi Ram did not believe in violence but Mayawati is not following in his footsteps," Mr Gehlot said as he and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the BSP, Samajwadi Party and the Congress of fanning Dalit violence in different parts of the country for "political gains".
Earlier, the Congress questioned Modi's "stoic silence" over the concerns of Dalits and said it indicated that the BJP and RSS were working towards a "Dalit-mukt Bharat".
The Congress said that despite massive protests and outcry on the streets over the dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling on March 20, the Prime Minister has maintained silence.
However, Mr Gehlot said that the Narendra Modi government has only "strengthened" the SC/ST Act and went on to list various schemes for the uplift/welfare of the Dalits launched by the Modi government since 2014.