BJP playing politics with Dalit issue: Harish Rawatdehradun Updated: Apr 13, 2018 22:09 IST
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat. (HT Photo)
Former chief minister and Congress leader Harish Rawat on Friday accused the ruling BJP of doing nothing for benefit of Dalits.
“Not me but the BJP is playing politics on the issue of Dalits,” he said after having meal with a Dalit family as part of his ‘Dalit bhoj’ campaign. Rawat made a similar statement in Haridwar on Thursday.
The ‘Dalit bhoj’ is seen as an attempt to boost his stake for Congress nomination in Nainital Lok Sabha constituency during the 2019 general election.
He is also said to be interested in contesting the general election from Haridwar Lok Sabha seat. He is also active in Haridwar constituency.
In Haldwani, he also participated in a ‘bhajan and kirtan’ programme held near a temple.
The former CM said he was not touring the area or going to Dalit homes with view to garner votes for him in the Lok Sabha poll.
“First criteria for taking lunch at a person’s home is if he is poor, if he is also a Dalit then it is more favourable. I have been doing this since many years and it is not to counter the BJP.”
Rawat denied that he was vying for Congress tickets from Nainital and Haridwar Lok sabha seats.
“I have been touring Almora and Tehri. But, these visits are not being talked about and only Haridwar and Nainital visits are being noticed,” he said.
“My motive is to meet the poorest of the poor and this person also happens to be a Dalit. I have been going to the homes of Dalit and poor since my early days in politics and this has become a trend only now with other parties.
“My political gurus asked to interact with the poorest of all and I have always made it part of my schedule,” said the former chief minister.
The Congress leader also said his programmes of bhajan and kirtans would continue till the state government took back all the cases slapped on the people who had participated in the Bharat bandh against alleged dilution of the SC/ST Act.