Union minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot hit out at Congress and BSP for their attempts to draw "political mileage" from the incident and insisted that the Gujarat government had acted promptly.

The crime followed by the attempts of some Dalits to end their lives in protests has seen BSP and Congress launching sharp attack on BJP.
    
The community's votes are crucial in many states, especially Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, both of which are going to the polls next year. BJP has been trying to woo them vigorously since Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.

Referring to the Modi government's project to develop five places associated with Dalit icon B R Ambedkar, Gehlot said that its attempts showed that no party was more beneficial to the community than BJP.
    
With the Opposition targeting the party's ideological fountainhead RSS over the matter, Gehlot, who has had a long stint in various RSS affiliates, said it had nothing to do with the matter and the criminals involved in it will be punished.
    
He asked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and BSP chief Mayawati not to visit the state due to the prevailing tense situation there and said any such trip will prove that they were interested in politicising it.

Flanked by other Dalit ministers, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Krishna Raj, Gehlot said the Gujarat Police had arrested 17 people and a senior CID official was probing the case.
    
"In two months, charge sheet will be filed. Strong action will be taken. Senior state ministers have met the victims. We will give all assistance, including financial, to them," he said.

Asked about some Muslims being attacked in parts of the country over the similar charges, Gehlot insisted that his party believed in harmony in society and did not discriminate along caste or religious lines.

 

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