R. Dhruvanarayan, former MP, has called for removal of Minister K.S. Eshwarappa from the Ministry for using a “casteist slur” amid a threat from Bhovi community in Mysuru to boycott Dasara festivities.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Mr. Dhruvanarayan took offence to the allegedly derogatory language used by Mr. Eshwarappa against former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in response to the latter’s attack on Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the Hindi language issue. Contending that Mr. Eshwarappa’s language violated the provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, Mr. Dhruvanarayan demanded an immediate apology from the senior Minister.
Former chairperson of Karnataka State Bhovi Development Corporation Seetharam told reporters that the community would boycott Dasara celebrations in protest against the remarks.
However, he sought to clarify that the Bhovi community was not protesting just because the remarks were targeted at Mr. Siddaramaiah. “Such words should not be used against anybody to humiliate them”, he said.
Mr. Seetharam said the community comprised the workforce that had built the KRS reservoir and did not deserve to be humiliated.
Mr. Dhruvanarayan also cried foul over the alleged diversion of funds marked for flood relief work for Dalits. Of ₹30,440 crore approved for the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan, the government had sought to divert ₹1,157 crore for flood relief works, he said.
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also, in a series of tweets, alleged that the law was being violated. The law was implemented while he was the chief minister.
Instead of taking up flood relief work from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), the BJP Government had resorted to diverting the funds reserved for implementation of schemes for the Dalits under the SCSPTSP Act.
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