Party sources said Mayawati believes the cook was not a Dalit but someone from the upper caste. Party zonal coordinator, Dr Ram Kumar Kureel confirmed the directives have been received and they will soon find out who prepared food for Shah during his visit to the village.
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Kureel claimed that though 250 people came along with Shah, only 50 had lunch which shows the casteist mindset of the saffron brass. “The rest did not eat with Dalits,” he said. Moreover, the place where lunch was served is dominated by membrs of Bind community which belongs to most backward class and not Dalits. “Shah brought a few Dalits along, sat with them and had lunch just to send out a political message,” he said.
A senior BSP leader maintained it’s a tragedy that sharing a meal with Dalits had become a ploy to lap up Dalit votes especially during the election time. “This only means they want to make Dalits keep feeling oppressed,” said a BSP functionary.Mayawati had attacked the BJP chief saying dining with Dalits was mere “drama” and a gimmick played in the (assembly) election year. She had in fact pointed out that when Shah had lunch with Dalits, a statue of BSP founder and Dalit leader Kanshiram was vandalised in BJP ruled Harayana.
The BSP chief is consistently being outsmarted by the BJP in an endeavor to reach out to Dalits. Last month, a BJP leader was attacked in Uttarakhand when he tried to take along Dalits to a temple where entry of the oppressed class is reportedly restricted.