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BJP’s Dalit outreach under scrap

Anti-Mayawati rant, Gujarat stir will dent the BJP image in upcoming polls

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Jul 21 2016 8:43AM | Updated Date: Jul 21 2016 4:51PM

BJP’s Dalit outreach under scrap

Although BJP has expelled Dayashankar Singh for making derogatory remarks against BSP chief Mayawati and Singh has apologized for his remarks and claimed it was a "slip of tongue", even so the Dalit outreach of BJP is damaged perilously.

 

Just as BJP was trying to be restorative after the political storm over the violent Dalit protests in Gujarat, the party's UP Vice-president, Dayashankar Singh's sexist and derogatory remarks against BSP chief Mayawati left it twisting again on Wednesday.

 

The controversy over the demolition of an Ambedkar memorial in Mumbai added fuel to the fire at a time when it has launched an aggressive Dalit outreach ahead of a challenging election in UP next year.

 

The incident in Gujarat gained political colour with Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi expected to visit Una and chief minister Anandiben Patel is already under fire for allowing the protests to gather momentum due to delayed action.

 

These incidents are challenges themselves, especially after BJP planning to overcome issues like the Rohith Vermula suicide by reaching out to Dalits with a mix of empowerment promises and Hindutva appeals.

 

Though BJP announced that its UP vice-chief Dayashankar Singh had been divested of his party posts, he was not subject to further disciplinary action, leading Mayawati to demand that the ruling party should first expel him from the party and then take stronger action against him.