BJP to launch Dalit outreach campaign today
A day after deciding to focus on 10,000 villages in Uttar Pradesh over a two-month long campaign in December-January in memory of Mahatma Gandhi, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced a separate four-day drive from November 26, aimed at connecting with dalits.
The party’s dalit-connect initiative is timed with Constitution Day or Samvidhan Divas that is celebrated on November 26 each year.
Also known as National Law Day, it was on this day in 1949 that the Constituent Assembly of India formally adopted the Constitution of India, which came into effect from January 26, 1950.
The BJP would use the occasion to organise various programmes for four days from November 26, holding seminars and functions in dalit localities to create awareness about the significance of the Constitution as also to talk about the role of Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, widely credited as the chief architect who drafted the Constitution.
Ambedkar is held in high esteem by the 21 per cent Dalit voters in Uttar Pradesh who, before 2014 Lok Sabha polls, were considered loyal to Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
Post 2014 Lok Sabha polls when BSP drew a blank and even after 2017 UP polls and then the 2019 Lok Sabha polls too, BJP continued to grow, winning in dalit dominated localities too.
“The dalits are now aware who has really worked for them, who have merely paid lip service. Naturally, we would look to remind them of the various initiatives taken by our Narendra Modi government at the centre and Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh for their welfare,” said Gobind Narayan Shukla, the party’s UP general secretary, who is also the in-charge of the party’s SC/ST Morcha in the state.
“Through seminars and functions, we would tell the people how our government developed panch-tirath, the five places associated with Dr Ambedkar. There have been various other things that we will talk about,” Shukla said.