'Stop drama of eating with Dalits': Mohan Bhagwat tells BJP-leaders

Leroy Wright
May 7, 2018

"But... The section which is aware and is feeling disgruntled, they say that others (the leaders) visit their areas for dinner to make them feel that they were "neech" (lower caste) and others were "oonch" (upper caste)".

Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who snapped his party's alliance with the BJP in February this year to join the RJD-led alliance, told PTI that NDA governments in the Centre and Bihar have been a disappointment for Dalits for Bihar with the community in the state staring at a crisis. "They may be sitting at a Dalit's house but get food from a restaurant".

Controversy erupted after a BJP minister in Uttar Pradesh, Suresh Rana, was accused of bringing food from outside and eating at a Dalit home in Aligarh. "They are behaving as if they are doing a favour to Dalits", Mr. Punia said.

The BSP leadership has directed its office bearers and district coordinators to keep close watch on the "Community feast" programme organised by the BJP leaders where the ministers and other ruling party leaders visit the home of dalits.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently spent one night each in Amroha and Pratapgarh and held "chaupal" to take feedback on government schemes.

Hit by NEET, many Tamil Nadu students allotted centres in other states
Neet will be conducted on May 6 and 13 and about 26,725 students will be writing the exam across the country. Last year, the medical aspirants fought a legal battle seeking exemption for the state from NEET.

Bhagwat's statements come in wake of PM Modi's "Gram Swaraj Abhiyan", wherein he directed BJP leaders to spend two nights in Dalit villages.

BSP supremo Mayawati has also questioned the objective of having dinner with Dalit families when the government has been "adopting anti-Dalit policies". She even questioned how many BJP leaders had invited Dalits at their own houses to dine with them.

"I didn't even know they are coming for dinner".

In another incident, cabinet minister Rajendra Pratap Singh stoked controversy Tuesday after he said that "the way Lord Ram blessed Shabari, his ardent devotee, by eating her berries, BJP leaders too are blessing dalits by going to their homes". "People wont be fooled, they know the truth", the BSP supremo had stated.

The exercise, aimed at bringing Dalits into saffron party's fold before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, has worsened the anger among Dalits because the issues of education, jobs and reservations in private sector appears to be put on the back burner.

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