In BJP’s Dalit outreach programme, Uttarakhand urban local body poll ticket seekers in show of strength

The Bharatiya Janata Party observed ‘Samrastra Diwas’ (brotherhood day) in Uttarakhand on Friday, kicking off an eight-month-long campaign to reach out to the schedule castes

dehradun Updated: Apr 13, 2018 22:19 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,BJP programme,Dalit outreach
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and many BJP leaders have meals with Dalits during the ‘Samrastra Diwas’ (brotherhood day) observed by the BJP in Dehradun on Friday.(HT Photo)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) observed ‘Samrastra Diwas’ (brotherhood day) in Uttarakhand on Friday, kicking off an eight-month-long campaign to reach out to the schedule castes.

Workshops and seminars will be organised during the campaign that will conclude on December 6, the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution who was hailed for his contribution towards uplift of Dalits.

Inaugurating the campaign in the capital, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and many BJP leaders had meals with Dalits.

Some BJP workers said the feast turned out to be a show of strength of party ticket claimants for the urban local body elections to be held soon.

“The BJP had asked its councillors and ticket claimants to contribute to the feast by giving foods. This led to a massive participation, especially from those seeking tickets,” a party worker said on the condition of anonymity.

The event was organised in Rajpur, but members of the Dalit community had come from adjoining constituencies of Raipur, Dharamapur, and Mussoorie to participate in the feast.

“The packets submitted by them (participants) even mentioned their choice of wards for which they are seeking ticket,” the party worker said.

The meals comprised rice, dal and halwa. Some party workers claimed that desi ghee served to the chief minister during the feast had come from his home.

More than 300 schedule caste members gathered at the community hall for the event. Party legislators Ganesh Joshi, Umesh Sharma Kau, Khazan Das, Harbans Kapoor and others sat on the ground and had the meal.

BJP state president Ajay Bhatt gave the event a miss. His associates said he had gone to New Jersey, USA on the invitation by an educational institution.

Not fully plastic-free

The BJP tried to make the event plastic-free, but failed. Food was served on plates and bowls made up of leaves, but disposable glasses were kept for people to drink water outside the hall. Some party members brought food from their homes in polythene bags that were collected for disposal.

CM on rape accused UP MLA

On the sidelines of Samrasta Diwas, the chief minister said the UP government had formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe rape charges against BJP legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, which is now taken over by CBI.

“Legislators have responsibilities and rights. The UP government constituted SIT, and now CBI is looking after the case. Let them probe the matter,” he told the media.

CBI picked Sengar from his Lucknow residence on Friday morning for questioning.

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 22:18 IST