BJP to hold a�?chintan baithaksa�� to counter anti-Dalit image

New Delhi: In a bid to erase its anti-Dalit image the BJP is holding A�a a�?brainstorming sessiona�? in the capital on Monday. More than 100 Scheduled Caste leaders of the party are expected to attend the session to evolve a strategy to counter the negative image amid some crucial states going to assembly polls next year.

The BJP is increasingly suffering with anti-Dalit image ever A�since the suicide of Hyderabad University scholar Rohith Vemula early this year.

BJPa��s SC front chief Dushyant Gautam said that the party felt the press was a�?not being kind to usa�? in reporting incidents of alleged Dalit atrocities. a�?There is impression going out as if the BJP was opposed to Dalits. This, when our governmenta��s effort is to empower that community,a�? he added.

The party is also planning a series of Dalit youth conferences in several parts of the A�country. One will be held in Delhi in October, for which the dates are yet to be finalised.

Over 20 crore people, nearly 17% of our countrya��s A�population are Scheduled Castes.

They are crucial A�in Punjab (32%), Uttar Pradesh (21%) and Uttarakhand (19%) where A�elections are to be held soon.

The unfortunate suicide of A�Rohit Vemula, a Hyderabad Central University scholar on 17th January this year , the flogging of Dalits at Una in Gujarat in July, and continuing beef-related attacks throughout the country have shown BJP as a party of anti-Dalit.

The seriousness of the issue prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appeal against attacks on Dalits. a�?If you want to shoot, shoot me,a�? he told a Hyderabad rally on August 8.

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