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Sushilpura gets last-minute facelift as Amit Shah dines at Dalit home

Fresh patches of black tar on the pothole-filled road give away the haste with which the local civic body has tried to do some last moment repair work which apparently was not enough.

jaipur Updated: Jul 23, 2017 19:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Amit Shah,BJP,Dalit
BJP president Amit Shah eats lunch, along with CM Vasundhara Raje , on the concluding day of his three-day visit, in Jaipur on Sunday. (Himanshu Vyas/HT Photo)

Officials in button down shirts with walkie-talkies in hand are an unlikely site at Sushilpura Colony near Sodala — a minuscule settlement of mostly Dalit and financially backward families.

Fresh patches of black tar on the pothole-filled road give away the haste with which the local civic body has tried to do some last moment repair work which apparently was not enough.

It was in one of these homes in Sushilpura that BJP president Amit Shah dined with a Dalit family on Sunday, accompanied by several politicos, including chief minister Vasundhara Raje. After rounds of meeting in the party office, Shah left for Sushilpura where he had lunch at the house of BJP Yuva Morcha member Ramesh Pacharia.

“On Saturday we came to know Shah will visit our house. It was a moment of pride for us but we didn’t do anything extra and treated the BJP president as just another member of our family of seven,” said Pacharia.

“My mother cooked daal, rice, chapatti, halwa, kheer for the party president,” Pacharia said. The menu also had a couple of staple Rajasthani dishes.

Pacharia, who is a booth level BJP worker in the ward, said that the reason that his house was chosen was that he was acquainted with a top-ranking official of the city BJP.

An electrician does some last-minute repair work in Sushilpura before the arrival of BJP president Amit Shah. (Himanshu Vyas/HT Photo)

“Shah and the chief minister sat on the floor and ate just like we do. Since we are from the Bunkar community, who are known for their skill of sewing handicraft items, we made plates with leaves for this special occasion,” said Vinod Pacharia, brother of Ramesh.

Both the brothers work at the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) and are BJP workers. “Shah’s visit has put Sushilpura on the map of Jaipur. Most of the houses in this colony are still not legally approved by the government. We hope that this visit makes the administration aware of our problems,” said Pacharia.

Social justice minister Arun Chaturvedi said the party selected the house of its booth level worker, Pacharia, based on his active work for the party and not due to his caste or class.

Residents of the colony said that parts of the road leading to Pacharia’s house were repaired on Sunday. “The road was repaired up in several areas and there was heavy security before the visit,” said Malaram Yadav, a resident of the colony.

With inputs from agencies

First Published: Jul 23, 2017 19:22 IST