Amaravati, Sep (IANS) Leaders from opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) have accused each other of being anti-dalit, in the light of multiple atrocities against dalits in the state.
TDP supremo, Chandrababu Naidu, called for unity among dalit organisations and opposition parties to fight back against the atrocities occurring in the government lead by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
"YSRCP government is anti-dalit and AP people are suffering under the leadership of an anti-dalit Chief Minister. Though countless atrocities have been occurring in every nook and corner of the state in the past 15 months, the CM is maintaining an enigmatic silence without opening his mouth to condemn the incidents," alleged Naidu.
He also said that Reddy's silence is emboldening miscreants to target dalits, claiming that the oppressed sections enjoyed rights and liberties in the TDP regime.
"Why the Jagan Reddy regime is maintaining an unusual silence on the heinous crimes like the gang rape of a 16-year-old dalit girl by 12 members in Rajahmundry. Nobody is arrested till now. Moreover, the girl's parents were threatened not to open their mouths," said the senior TDP politician who served as the CM of this southern state for 14 years.
Naidu recalled a bunch of other atrocities against dalits in the past few months, such as the burning down of a dalit girl's home in Krishna district's Mudinepalli, series of skirmishes involving Vishakhapatnam dalit doctor Sudhakar, doctor Anita Rani case, death of a scheduled caste youth for not wearing a mask in Chirala and others.
As part of TDP's 'Dalita Sankaravam', a programme aimed at extending solidarity to dalits and raising a voice on their behalf, Naidu called for a 'Dalit Lives Matter' agitation, taking inspiration from the American 'Black Lives Matter' demonstrations.
"Dalits Lives Matter' agitation should be run relentlessly to bring the Jagan Reddy's regime to its knees. The fight should be taken to Delhi where complaints should be given to the Constitutional heads," Naidu asserted.
Meanwhile, ruling YSRCP MLA Merugu Nagurjuna spewed retaliatory fire on Naidu, and called his an anti-dalit leader.
"What is the need for your 'Dalita Sankaravam'. You have a thought process which says that nobody should be born in dalit families. You said being born as a dalit is a curse. You think dalits should not improve, they should not move around," alleged Nagarjuna against Naidu.
He challenged Naidu for a debate anywhere in the state on the atrocities committed against dalits.
In his rebuttal, the dalit leader questioned the usefulness of Naidu, comparing him to the Y. S. Rajasehkar Reddy's family and calling the latter a dalit champion.
"When Naidu was in power, he humiliated dalits and when he is out of power, he is shedding crocodile tears," claimed Nagarjuna.