Is BJP serious about welfare of Dalits?

NEW DELHI, 20 JULY: Is BJP really serious about the welfare of Dalits? Going by the response of its leadership in the two-day meeting of the national executive of its Scheduled Caste Front which ended here today, it seemed otherwise.
While on the opening day, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr LK Advani, spoke of the party’s dismal performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls while barely touching on the issue of the welfare of Dalits, the party President, Mr Rajnath Singh, did not even put in an appearance though listed to deliver the concluding remarks. He preferred to attend programmes in his Lok Sabha constituency, Ghaziabad.
Ironically, the Congress sought to put up a conciliatory tone towards the Dalits in the wake of the attack on its Uttar Pradesh state unit president Miss Rita Bahuguna Joshi and the state government taking her into custody on alleged remarks by her against chief minister Miss Mayawati.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha ~ Mr Arun Jailtey refrained from focussing on issues pertaining to Dalits considering the party had been an ally of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in UP at one time.
Another noticeable absence was that of RSS leaders which was lamented by BJP leader Mr Kailash Meghwal who felt that apprising the RSS leadership of the plight of the Dalits would have helped them.
“The practice of human scavenging has still not been removed. Even when we were in power for six years we could not do anything,” Mr Meghwal said in his address.
Secretary (Organisation) Ramlal, however, made some practical suggestions in the meet.
Using Right to Information Act to ask state governments about steps taken by them for Dalit welfare was one of them. He said BJP does not believe in using Dalits as mere votebanks.