BJP to hold ‘chintan baithaks’ to counter anti-Dalit image
New Delhi: In a bid to erase its anti-Dalit image the BJP is holding a “brainstorming session” 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 since the suicide of Hyderabad University scholar Rohith Vemula early this year.
BJP’s SC front chief Dushyant Gautam said that the party felt the press was “not being kind to us” in reporting incidents of alleged Dalit atrocities. “There is impression going out as if the BJP was opposed to Dalits. This, when our government’s effort is to empower that community,” he added.
The party is also planning a series of Dalit youth conferences in several parts of the 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 country’s population are Scheduled Castes.
They are crucial in Punjab (32%), Uttar Pradesh (21%) and Uttarakhand (19%) where elections are to be held soon.
The unfortunate suicide of 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. “If you want to shoot, shoot me,” he told a Hyderabad rally on August 8.