Addressing karyakartasor party workers via video conference on 38th Foundation Day of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke at length about the inclusive nature of the party and his own struggles to the top.
The second half of Parliament's Budget Session, which came to a close on Friday, was not an ordinary session.
The prime minister then told his party's MPs to reach out to villages with substantial Dalit and tribal population through implementation of his government's seven key welfare schemes.
At a time when Dalit voters are divided and follow several leaders like Jignesh Mevani, Raut said the community members will be attracted to Gandhi nationally as he is more likely to become the prime minister than the former.
"They are unable to accept that the son of a poor mother can become Prime Minister". He added: "They can not imagine that when we got the opportunity to elect a President on our own strength, we elected a person belonging to the Dalit community".
The last day of the session witnessed an unusual sight - Opposition MPs and BJP MPs, including ministers, staged simultaneous dharnas near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament House complex with both sides waving placards and shouting slogans in a show of one-upmanship. "They can not imagine that when we got the opportunity to elect a Deputy Speaker, we selected Shri Suraj Bhan, who belonged to the Dalit community and later Shri Karia Munda, who is a tribal leader". It is not because we made a mistake.
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Quoting from the statements five BJP Dalit MPs, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill claimed that they proved Modi was working to make India Dalit-mukt.
"People from Barmer, Jalore, Jaipur, Gwalior, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Karoli and other parts (are) calling that not only anti-reservationists but police (are) also beating and slapping false cases", he said in his tweets late on Saturday night. He further urged the BJP workers to refrain from saying or doing anything that lowers India's political discourse.
Recently, violence erupted during a nationwide bandh by Dalits to protest the softening of provisions of the SC/ST Act.
Neither the prime minister nor the BJP has reacted to the letter of Singh which is now widely shared all across. The BJP wants to assuage the growing discontent among Dalits as the party is building its campaign for the Karnataka polls where Dalits account for 19 per cent of the voters.
The party will also take out "Sabka saath sabka vikas yatra", Kumar said.
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