'BJP stands for Dalits too'

Party's PM candidate makes a point at Varanasi meet

'BJP stands for Dalits too'

Apart from highlighting the plight of the Ganges in Varanasi on Friday, the BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi tried a kind of ‘social engineering’ at his rally by sending across a message that the saffron party was all for Dalits as well.

While a huge picture of Lord Shiva, who holds the city of Varanasi on his trident according to the Hindu mythology, adorned both sides of the main stage from where Modi delivered his speech, the pictures of the famous ghats of the Ganges was also there at the back.

On the other two stages that were by the side of the main stage were the pictures of Tulsidas, who had written Ram Charita Manas, Kabirdas, a poet and a social reformer, and Sant Ravidas, a 15th century thinker.

Ravidas, a Dalit by caste, was born near Varanasi and revered by the Dalit community. “We plan to tell people that the BJP is for all sections of the society,” said a local BJP leader on Friday.

According to sources here, the idea of putting the pictures of Lord Shiva and those of the Hindu poets and Sant Ravidas was that of Amit Shah, a Modi protege and incharge of the party’s state unit.

Earlier Modi visited the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi to pay obeisance. 

He also met a few Muslim leaders before going to the rally’s venue.

He invoked the Ganges in his speech as the river is the lifeline of not only Varanasi but also of millions of people across the jstate. 

Ganga pollution has been an emotive issue for the people, especially in Varanasi and Allahabad. The Ganga Action Plan, which was conceived during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as prime minister, has failed to rid the river of pollutants triggering huge resentment among the people.

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