Mumbai, Apr 9 (PTI) Maximum efforts to “dilute” the SC/ST Act were made during the Congress rule at the Centre, RPI (Athawale) leader Avinash Mahatekar today said.

He also ridiculed the Congress for its day-long token fast against the Modi government.

“Maximum efforts to dilute the Atrocities Act were made during the Congress regime.

“The cases in which Dalits and Muslims were victims were purposefully delayed (for trial) by the then Congress government,” Mahatekar said in a statement.

The Rahul Gandhi-led party started speaking about the welfare of Dalits and Muslims only after it lost power, said the RPI (Athawale) leader, whose party is an ally of the BJP.

The SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act hogged much limelight after a recent Supreme Court ruling, which was seen as a “dilution” of the stringent legislation.

The apex court had ruled government servants should not be arrested without prior sanction and private citizens, too, be arrested only after an inquiry under the law. Opposing the verdict, several Dalit outfits had called for a ‘Bharat bandh’ last week.

Commenting on the token fast, Mahatekar sarcastically said, “Congress leaders reached the venue (in Mumbai) late. It looks like they were joining the fast after having a heavy brunch.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.