Savitri Bai Phule, a BJP parliamentarian known for her controversial comments, quit the party today with a pointed dig at her leadership: "I want to tell (PM) Narendra Modi, sanvidhan laagu karo ya kursi khali karo (implement the constitution or quit)."
The MP has been upset with her party for a while and is seen as a rebel. The BJP, she alleged, was trying to "create divisions" in the society.
"I am a social worker. I work for Dalits. BJP is doing nothing for Dalit reservation," Savitri Bai Phule, who represents Bahraich in parliament, said while announcing her decision.
"India's money is being spent on construction of statues instead of being used for the development of the country."
The lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh had earlier this year gone public against her party leadership, alleging discrimination of Dalits. She was openly critical of the BJP's dinner-with-dalits outreach.
On Tuesday, Ms Phule had said Lord Hanuman was "a Dalit and a slave of 'manuwadi' people", jumping into a row over Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's remarks while campaigning in Rajasthan last week. "Lord Hanuman was a Dalit and a slave of 'manuwadi' people. ((He was a Dalit and a human. He did all for Lord Ram then why he was given a tail and his face was blackened. Why was he made a monkey?," Ms Phule said.
"When he did all for Lord Ram with devotion, he (Lord Hanuman) should have been made a human and not a 'bandar' (monkey). At that time also he had to face humilation due to being a Dalit. Why can't we Dalits be considered humans," she told the Press Trust of India.
In May, she had stirred a controversy and rattled many in her party by calling Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah a "mahapurush (great man)" who contributed to India's freedom struggle.