Coimbatore: Ruling out scrapping of reservation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a veiled but strident attack on Congress, saying a "campaign of lies" has been let loose on the issue of Dalits under a "deliberate conspiracy" to disintegrate the country.
"In the name of Dalits, lies are being spread. Wherever they go, whenever they go, repeatedly, at the top of their voice, they utter lies. A campaign of lies has been let loose to mislead and fool the Dalits.
"It is a deliberate conspiracy to disintegrate the country, to make people fight against each other. They are feeling frustrated because power has been taken away from them. They always believed that they (Dalits) are their voters and now Modi is working for them. They fear what to do with Modi. They want to prevent Dalits from backing Modi," he said.
Though he did not take any names, the Prime Minister's target appeared to be Congress and its Vice President Rahul Gandhi who has recently made two trips to Hyderabad Central University to join protests over the suicide of a Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula.
On Saturday, Gandhi had accused Modi and RSS of trying to crush the spirit of students by imposing "one idea from the top".
Modi was addressing a public meeting which was expected to launch BJP's campaign for the coming Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu but he completely skipped local politics.
Utilising the occasion, the Prime Minister said "lies are also being spread that Modi is going to take away reservation from Dalits, OBCs, oppressed and the depressed. Please listen to me carefully. I assure the nation that nobody can do away with reservation till the name of Dr BR Ambedkar remains alive."
He listed various steps and initiatives taken by his government in commemoration of Ambedkar's 125th birth anniversary.
Modi underlined that unity, harmony and peace were essential for the country to progress.