VIJAYAWADA: The CPM Andhra Pradesh unit on Wednesday alleged that University of Hyderabad (UoH) research scholar Rohit Vemula's Scheduled Caste (SC) status was being denied by the state government under pressure from the Central government to take Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya and several officers off the hook in a case filed against them under SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act.
Speaking to media persons here, CPM state secretary P Madhu said the TDP government of Chandrababu Naidu, knowing fully well that Rohit Vemula was a Dalit and that he had availed a number welfare concessions, was trying to change his caste status.
"The same Guntur district collector who testified before the National Commission for SCs that Rohit Vemula was a Dalit is now changing his stand," Madhu said.
"If a government can change the caste status of an individual at its whim, then there can be no protection for Dalits. The attempt to change Rohit Vemula’s caste is a clear case of the BJP exerting pressure on the TDP, which is its ally," he said.
Referring to the decision taken by the state cabinet on Tuesday on the constitution of three urban development authorities (UDAs), the CPM leader said it was an insidious attempt to facilitate the creation of a company for acquiring lands close to national highways for a promotion of real estate activity.
"With this decision to create three more UDAs, there will be nine UDAs in the state having jurisdiction over half of the land in the state. This will lead to an agrarian crisis and farmers would lose their livelihood," Madhu said.
Madhu said his party was equally opposed to undemocratic methods the state government was using to win MLCs from three graduate and two teachers constituencies in the state for which elections are scheduled in March.
He said on Feb. 6, the chief minister, at a meeting of headmasters and Education Department officials, had sought their support in winning the elections. This was highly unbecoming of a leader of Chandrababu Naidu's stature.
He said this apart, the ruling party was resorting to unlawful and unethical methods in enrolling those who are not eligible as voters in the teachers and graduates constituencies. He said his party had found a number of bogus voters in graduate constituencies who had not even passed SSC though the eligibility criteria are that one should have become a graduate three years prior to the date of the election.
As far as teachers' constituencies are concerned, the ruling party was enrolling teachers in private educational institutions taking advantage of some clauses in the relevant rules on eligibility. "There are 9,000 bogus voters in Nellore graduates, 3,000 in Nellore teachers and 11,000 in Tirupati graduates constituencies," he said.