Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 9 (PTI) Senior Congress leader and former Defence Minister A K Antony today took a pillion ride on a motorbike here as the hartal called by Dalit organisations protesting against the alleged ‘dilution’ of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act saw few vehicles plying.

Antony took the pillion ride to reach Indira Bhavan, the party state head quarters, from his house at Jagathy to attend in the Dalit solidarity meet called by Kerala PCC.

The public looked on with surprise as Antony, the former Kerala Chief Minister, travelled pillion for three km.

Speaking at the function at Indira Bhavan, Antony said Congress will take the lead to put an end to the “atrocities” against Dalits.

During the UPA rule, the Congress had taken stern action against those indulging in violence against the Dalit community, he said.

The CWC member also attacked the LDF government in Kerala saying that the state was following the footsteps of Narendra Modi government on various matters.

He said hartal was not new to Kerala. Many have organised hartals. But the state government’s attitude not to support today’s hartal called by Dalit outfits amounted to “harassment towards the backward section”, he said.

He termed the arrest of Gothra Mahasabha leader M Geethanandan on charges of attempting to block traffic at the High Court junction in Kochi as an ‘unacceptable act’.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.