Reaching out to Dalits despite being bitten by mosquitoes, says Uttar Pradesh minister Anupama Jaiswal

Jaiswal claimed that the BJP leaders, even the women like her, were reaching out to the Dalits in villages and holding chaupals with them even while sleeping in the open braving the mosquitoes.

Published: 04th May 2018 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2018 04:33 AM   |  A+A-

UP cabinet minister Anupama Jaiswal (Twitter | Anupama Jaiswal)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The BJP government’s Dalit outreach programme and the approach of its ministers towards it, has left the ruling party red-faced many a time in the recent past. The latest is a gaffe by Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister Anupama Jaiswal, who claimed on Friday that BJP ministers were braving “mosquito bites the whole night”, but still going out to make the community aware of government welfare schemes.

She claimed that BJP leaders, even women, were holding chaupals with Dalits. “Ours is the first government reaching out to the villages, holding chaupals, spending night in the open, braving mosquitoes. It gives one satisfaction and happiness. It also reflects the commitment of the state government to take the welfare schemes to those they are meant for,” Jaiswal claimed.

Jaiswal’s casual statement drew opposition ire and embarrassed the BJP. She made the statement when quizzed about the controversy surrounding her Cabinet colleague Suresh Rana allegedly getting food from a restaurant and eating it in a Dalit man’s home in Aligarh.

Jaiswal said she had organised four such chaupals and three more were lined up. “Even after that, if the Chief Minister would want, I am prepared to hold more chaupals and make the villagers aware of the schemes meant for their welfare,” the minister said.

Another UP minister, Rajendra Pratap Singh, had compared visits to Dalit homes with that of Lord Ram visiting Shabari and liberating the Dalit. Meanwhile, the party’s disgruntled Dalit MP from Bahraich, Savitribai Phule, condemned the outreach programmes as an insult to the community. Already going vocal against the Centre’s schemes meant for Dalits, Phule questioned Yogi Adityanath’s Dalit outreach programme and village chaupals.

Notably, the BJP ministers are visiting Dalit households in different villages across the state under the government’s Gram Swaraj Programme, having food with them and spending nights there. Phule said it was humiliating for the Dalits. She contended that the ministers were sharing food with Dalits and posting pictures on social media to gain publicity. “It will serve no purpose. Rather, it is an insult to the downtrodden sections of society,” she averred.

The MP advocated abolition of caste system in accordance with Dr BR Ambedkar’s idea of society. “If caste barriers are removed and food is shared with Dalits without acknowledging their caste, then it will be an honour to them,” said Phule.

“Otherwise, it is just hogwash. Ministers visit Dalit houses, but the food for them is neither prepared nor served by a Dalit. Only the house is his. I don’t agree with this initiative,” she said. Phule had organised a rally on April 1 against Centre’s policies for Dalits, calling them inadequate to uplift Dalits.

BJP Dalits


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  • Vijay

    Good mosquitoes had a yummy time.... some use to lives
    4 years ago reply
  • vyjayanthi

    ' reaching out to dalits despite bitten by mosquitoes', by the UP minister anupama jaiswal is not just a gaffe, it is the insensitivity and callousness that marks the mindset of not only the ruling party but also all other parties in the political spectrum of our country treat dalits as votebanks including those that vouch for their well being. As far as the minister's remark is concerned it is noting but the reflection of a mindset is less than human.
    4 years ago reply
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