At a function held at the Constitution Club in New Delhi to mark the birth anniversary of B.P. Mandal, the chairman of the Mandal Commission, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Udit Raj passed a comment on Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, kicked up a big row. Many members of the audience were so angry that they did not allow Udit Raj to continue with his speech and accused him of being an RSS agent.
Udit Raj began his address by saying that those who talk about social justice were divided into numerous camps. “They vote for a particular party and are not bothered about the candidate,” he said. He said that he himself led a party for 12 years but his own community did not vote for him. He added that it was only after he joined the BJP that he could become an MP. Questioning the credentials of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, he said that when the recommendations of the Mandal Commission were implemented, Yadav was the first to oppose them. He also said that Mulayam Singh had scrapped reservation in promotions for Dalits in Uttar Pradesh. All hell broke lose the moment he said this. Amid the ruckus, someone accused him of being anti-Yadav.
Before Udit Raj took the podium, former Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar Ansari had called for unity between Dalits, Pasmanda Muslims and OBCs. He said that if these three communities came together, they would form almost 80 per cent of the electorate and would decide who would rule the country. He condemned the attack on Professor Sanjay Kumar in Motihari, Bihar. He said that anarchists were out to ruin the country and we would have to take them on.
Justice (Retired) Sakharam Singh and former MP Balihari Babu were among the notables present.
The PIL Foundation had organized the function. All speakers were in agreement about celebrating Mandal’s birthday as Social Justice Day.
Translation: Amrish / Copy-editing: Anil
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