28 Jul 2023

Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections-2023: CM Shivraj Aims To Woo Dalit Voters Through Saint Ravidas Temple, But Is It Possible Without Their Economic Upliftment?

Bhopal: The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh is going to build a Sant Ravidas temple in Sagar to woo the Dalits of the state. By spending Rs 100 crore on this temple, it is planning to win the votes of Dalits in the assembly elections. Dalit experts and Dalit leaders of the state say that it may not be that easy. The government is focusing on religious issues instead of economic upliftment of Dalits.

Economic development is biggest issue for Dalits: DICCI chief

State President of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) Dr. Anil Sarvaiya says that before the elections, BJP is taking out the Samarsata Yatra. It is natural to see it from a political point of view. The issues of Dalit society in Madhya Pradesh are not hidden from anyone. Economic development is the biggest issue for this class. There is a need to make concerted efforts to find a solution for this.

The temple of Sant Ravidas is going to be built in Sagar, it makes the Dalit community feel proud, but the government should worry about their economic issues. Anil Sarvaiya said I think the issue of economic development of SC-ST is not on priority in the agenda of political parties. This is the reason why the schemes related to these societies are still being ignored. It can be solved only through employment-self-employment and entrepreneurship.

Rani Durgavati Self-Employment Scheme was stopped by BJP: Cong

Pradeep Ahirwar, President of the Congress Scheduled Caste Department, says that the Congress had implemented the Rani Durgavati Self-Employment Scheme, which was stopped by the BJP as soon as it came to power. The Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation is now only in name.

State President of BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha, Dr. Kailash Jatav has rejected the allegations of Congress outright. For the SC category, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has implemented several schemes from time to time in the state, he said.

Dr. Jatav also said that BJP has respected the sentiments and faith of this class by deciding to construct Sant Ravidas temple in Sagar. A spiritual center will also be built in the temple premises. Where not only the state, children from all over the country will be able to study about the biography of Saint Ravidas and the works done by him for the society.

No focus on grassroots issues of Dalits

Experts say that the political parties are not paying attention to the grassroots issues of the Dalits. In the Scheduled Caste Department, an award has been instituted in the name of Sant Ravidas, but this award has not been distributed for the last 15 years. There is an award in the name of Ambedkar for the work done for the upliftment of this class, but it is not given. The government has stopped the subsidy and margin money assistance to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in self-employment schemes, 3experts say.

CM Shivraj had made many announcements in past but they are not implemented

In the past CM Shivraj had made many announcements for the upliftment of Dalits ut no action plan has been revealed on them. He had said members of Scheduled Castes will be given land to set up allotted petrol pumps and members of SC and ST communities will also get relaxation in the government's store purchase rule.

Besides, apart from reserving 20% plots in industrial clusters for the SC-ST category, the Chief Minister had also talked about giving relaxation to the members of both the communities in the government's store purchase rules, but even after 6 months no order has been issued from the government level. 

PM to lay foundation on Aug 12

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to lay the foundation stone of Sant Ravidas temple in Sagar on 12th August. For this temple, 11 acres of government land has been allotted in Badtuma village of Narayavali. The BJP collected donations for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. On the same lines, Samarsata Yatras are being organized for Sant Ravidas Temple, which have been started from 5 different zones of the state.  Besides, Banaras, the birthplace of Ravidas, will also be included in the Mukhyamantri Teerth-Darshan Yojana.

80 lakh Dalit voters decide fate of candidate on 84 assembly seats

Experts say that just 4 months before the assembly elections, the Bhoomipujan for the construction of this temple has political significance. BJP's game plan is to win over the Dalit vote bank through this. 80 lakh Dalit voters decide the victory or defeat in 84 assembly seats.

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