"Empowerment Or Packed Dinners?": Siddaramaiah's Dig At PM On Dalits

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit back, saying the Congress does not care about "dil" (people's hearts and feelings) or the Dalits.

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'Empowerment Or Packed Dinners?': Siddaramaiah's Dig At PM On Dalits

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said having meals with Dalits is empty outreach. (File)


Bengaluru: 

Highlights

  1. Siddaramaiah retweeted Rahul Gandhi with a comment of his own
  2. PM Modi said Congress doesn't care about "dil" (hearts) or Dalits
  3. Dalits influence the outcome in 63 of Karnataka's 224 seats
Dalits need affirmative action and not token lunches with ministers, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah pointed out in a scathing tweet a week ahead of the bitterly fought assembly elections in the state. His target, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is campaigning in Chitradurga district, one with a substantial population of Dalits and tribals.

Mr Siddaramaiah, whose tweets have taken a quantum jump in terms of sting and frequency, retweeted party chief Rahul Gandhi today with a comment of his own.
 
In Karnataka, Dalits influence the outcome in 63 of the state's 224 seats. The number has ensured a race for Dalit votes.

In his speech at Chitradurga today, PM Modi hit back, saying the Congress does not care about "dil" (people's hearts and feelings) or the Dalits. "They only care about deals," he said.

Mr Gandhi's post, which was retweeted by Mr Siddaramaiah, contained a video that attacked the BJP for "horrific untouchability and violence against the Dalits" from its opening caption.

The BJP, which is trying to extend its Dalit outreach, has been in the news lately for its leaders' blunders on that score.

Last week, Uttar Pradesh minister Suresh Raina had gone to a Dalit home for a meal -- carrying packed lunches complete with cutlery. As photos of the catered meal appeared and the family claimed he had turned up "uninvited', the minister claimed he had made extra arrangements to accommodate his large entourage.

His cabinet colleague Rajendra Pratap Singh compared BJP leaders -- himself included -- to "Lord Ram" for going to Dalit homes and eating with them.  

Union Minister Uma Bharti said she never participates in such meals as she doesn't believe she is Lord Ram "blessing" Dalits.

A third UP minister spoke about how her colleagues were enduring mosquito bites in Dalit homes to ensure that the community receives government benefits.


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