Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on Tuesday that the Congress decided to boycott a meeting regarding the appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner because they "hate dalits".
This comes as Heeralal Samariya assumed the role of India's first Dalit Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) on Monday (7 November) and took the oath of office from President Droupadi Murmu.
Speaking at a public rally in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, PM Modi said, "When the BJP decided that a tribal daughter should become the country’s President, the Congress opposed it. It is the BJP which respects the aspirations of the SC, ST and OBC".
"Today, you must have read in your newspaper that for the first time in the country… I cancelled my election programme and attended a meeting in Delhi – we decided to appoint a Dalit from Rajasthan as the Chief Information Commissioner. Look at the Congressmen, they had to come to the meeting, they were invited much before time, we had spoken to them over the phone," the Prime Minister said.
"But as soon as they came to know that a Dalit is going to become the CIC, they boycotted the meeting. They hate Dalits so much (itni Daliton se nafrat karte hain). When the President is tribal, they oppose that, CIC is Dalit, they oppose it, and then they spread lies and do drama for sympathy," he added.
PM Modi's remarks drew sharp criticism from Congress Member of Parliament Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who represents the Opposition within the high-powered selection committee led by the Prime Minister.
“This is an unmitigated falsehood and outrageous lie. I am shocked how the Prime Minister of India could react in such a heinous manner," Chowdhury said.
"I think this kind of heinous recourse they have taken because of the assembly elections. It is only to score an electoral brownie point. They have designed it very deliberately," he added.
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