‘BJP has let down Laxman’

He may have been pronounced guilty by the court on corruption charges, but several leaders here were of the view that former BJP president Bangaru Laxman was targeted simply because he is a dalit. In his case, it was a matter of Rs one lakh, but several top national leaders of various parties have swindled the nation of crores of rupees but are still roaming free, said some of Laxman’s supporters.

Laxman, 72, a Hyderabadi, hails from an economically backward Madiga community and served as BJP SC Morcha national presidentbefore becoming the first-ever dalit president of the BJP. Criticising his own party’s double standards, BJP state SC Morcha president Ramulu said it was sad that his party did not protect the only dalit leader who encouraged many SCs and minorities to join the party.

Instead of helping him, the BJP completely disowned Laxman and left him to his fate, Ramulu said. “We will certainly take up the matter with the party. Is it not wrong that all the leaders from the upper caste go scotfree while it is only the dalit leaders who are made victims of caste politics,” Ramulu said.

Dalit activist Kancha Ilaiah described Laxman as a self-made man whom a Hindutva party like the BJP used and then showed the doors instead of protecting him. According to Congress state SC cell chairman Mitrakrishna, the BJP had proved itself to be anti-dalit by abandoning Laxman in his hour of need.