NEW DELHI: As Dalits are key to the poll outcome in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is going all out to woo the community. After taking a dip during the Kumbh Mela with Dalit sants, BJP chief Amit Shah had a meal with a Dalit family in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency.
Shah, who was travelling to Allahabad to address a farmers’ rally, took a brief halt at Jogiyapur village and had lunch with the family of Girjaprasad Bind and Ikbal Bind.
In a style reminiscent of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who earlier used to visit Dalit homes, Shah also sat on the ground as he ate.
Shah’s action was quick to initiate a war of words between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Singh Yadav and the BJP. Singh said that Shah had lunch with the Dalit family with an eye on the UP Assembly polls. The Chief Minister said that his party did not view people through the prism of caste.
The BJP responded by saying it was surprised to see Akhilesh so rattled, indicating an impending “loss” in the next year’s Assembly polls.
Newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh party president Keshav Prasad Maurya, in a statement issued here, said it was the BJP’s tradition to dine with the workers.