- UP minister, his aides reached home of a Dalit family to dine with them
- Ordered food, mineral water and cutlery from outside, the family says
- Family says they had no idea that minister was coming for dinner
Minister Suresh Rana did dine at a Dalit home, but brought his own food, mineral water and cutlery, according to the family.
The feast was beyond anything the family would have imagined for dinner -- it included palak paneer, chhole, dal makhni, pulao, tandoori roti and gulab jamun, complete with salad and raita.
"'I didn't even know they are coming for dinner, they came suddenly. All food, water and cutlery they had arranged from outside," Rajnish Kumar, the Dalit man who "hosted" the minister, told news agency ANI. He was surprised to see the minister and his aides trooping into his house around 11 pm.
As the local administration went through elaborate lengths to make sure the minister's efforts were was a success, a double bed and coolers were arranged for the minister's stay at a community centre.
Earlier this month, the ruling BJP had asked its lawmakers, including ministers at the centre and states, to spend at least a night in villages where there are 50 per cent or more Dalits -- one of its most important campaigns in a year of elections and at a time Dalit groups have targeted the party accusing it of not doing enough to counter a court order they say dilutes the law for their protection from discrimination.
Later people belonging to the Musahar community, which is among the poorest in the state, alleged they were given soap and shampoo by the local administration ahead of a visit by the chief minister.
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