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India’s first president was casteist: MP

Published: 02nd September 2012 09:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2012 09:17 AM   |  A+A-

Local Congress MP Chinta Mohan raked up a fresh controversy on Saturday quoting former CPM national secretary Harikishen Singh Surjeet as having said that the country’s first president, Babu Rajendra Prasad, had declined to drink milk offered by Dalits in Punjab.

Mohan made the remark at a function organised here to felicitate Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde at Tirupati while referring to the caste bias in the country. He hailed AICC president Sonia Gandhi for making Shinde, a Dalit, as the leader of the House in the Lok Sabha for the first time.

Mohan said Surjeet, who had been a Congress leader from Punjab during the initial period of his political career, had told him about the incident involving Rajendra Prasad.

“I used to visit Harikishen Singh Surjeet. He told me once that he had taken the first prime minister, Jahawarlal Nehru, and the first president, Babu Rajendra Prasad, to a Dalitwada in Punjab where the Dalits offered a glass of milk to both the leaders. Rajendra Prasad refused to drink the milk, saying that he was suffering from stomach pain,” the Tirupati MP recounted.

Quoting Surjeet firther, Mohan said Surjeet had taken Nehru and Prasad to another Dalitwada in Punjab and the same thing happened again: Rajendra Prasad refused to take the milk saying that he was on fast.

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