The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment and the president of the Republican Party of India (A) Ramdas Athawale claimed on Saturday that the Bhartiya Janata Party has become a party of “Bahujans” now.Speaking to reporters in Nagpur, Mr. Athawle also praised the Narendra Modi government “for its three years of commendable work” and said that the Dalits were voting in large numbers for the BJP.“Narendra Modi’s leadership has made it difficult for any other party to emerge now. Even the Dalits are voting for the BJP which is why it is winning almost everywhere. It is a party of Bahujans now. The central government has done a lot of work in last three years and took tough decisions like the demonetisation which benefited more than 80% population of the country. The Prime Minister has also increased funds for the memorials of Dr. Ambedkar. He keenly follows Dr. Ambedkar’s economic policies,” Mr. Athawale, one of the most prominent Dalit leaders in the Modi cabinet, told reporters.‘Saharanpur incident unfortunate, but BJP can’t be blamed for it’However, Mr. Athawale conceded that the Dalits were facing atrocities in many parts of the country but he refused to blame the central or the BJP-ruled State governments for the violence against Dalits.“Dalits are facing atrocities. The recent case of Saharanpur shows it but it is wrong to link it with the new BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. Even the Samajwadi Party’s government witnessed violence against the Dalits. Uttar Pradesh is a State known for violence and nowadays the Dalits are also reacting to the atrocities against them. But such things should not happen. There should be harmony among all the communities. I would again reiterate that the state governments are not responsible for such incidents and these clashes are taking place because of caste rivalries. What happened in Saharanpur should not have happened,” he said.Accusing the Congress of “spreading rumours” against the Modi government, Mr. Athawale said: “The Congress party is anxious and frustrated because of losing power and it is making false allegations that the government wants to change the Constitution and repeal the reservation of the Dalits. “The Constitution will never be changed. Only some amendments can be made. Our Constitution is perfect. The reservation for Dalits will also stay. Those, who demand to repeal the reservation on the basis of caste, should make sure that the caste is repealed first. The RSS and the BJP will never change anything in the constitution. The Prime Minister has clearly said that the Constitution is his religious book,” the RPI leader added.