LUCKNOW: The BJP MP from Bahraich, Savitri Bai Phule, is once again on the warpath. The Dalit lawmaker is unhappy with the renaming of Mughalsarai and Allahabad, saying that the move would hurt the feelings of the minority community and diminish the pride of the cities rechristened.
Phule had organised a huge public rally in April against her own government, claiming that the Centre's approach towards reservation provisions meant for Dalits was doubtful. She said that Dalits won't beg for reservation as it was their constitutional right.
While Mughalsarai was renamed after RSS thinker and Bharatiya Jan Sangh founder Deen Dayal Upadhyay, the state government is contemplating renaming Allahabad as Prayag ahead of the Kumbh next year.
Speaking vociferously against the party leadership, including PM Modi, Phule said the political narrative should not be based on religious lines. She even disapproved of the PM's diatribe against the Congress at a public rally in Azamgarh recently. She claimed that asking the Congress if that party was only for Muslim men was loaded with religious sentiment.
"Muslims are also part of the `Bahujan Samaj' and enjoy voting rights like any other citizen of this country," she pointed out, adding that the BJP should honestly work for the welfare of each and every citizen, living up to the spirit of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'.
Claiming to be a social worker first and an MP later, Phule said it was her duty to speak about humanity and not just politics. "I demand the state government reconsider its decision of changing the names of cities,'' she said.
A former BSP worker who switched over to the BJP just ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, got a ticket and won from Bahraich reserved Parliamentary seat, Phule questioned the state government's stand on Lucknow's name which she said was drawn from Lakhan Pasi, a Dalit leader. "But now I am learning about attempts to name it after Lord Laxman. This is nothing short of an insult to the great Dalit leader,'' she said.