Akhilesh draws dhobis' ire over donkey remark

Akhilesh draws dhobis' ire  over donkey remark

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s reference to ‘donkeys from Gujarat’ has triggered a backlash from the ‘dhobi’ (washermen) community in the state.

The community members put up posters in Varanasi — the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — protesting against the reference and demanded an apology from Akhilesh.

“We earn our bread and butter from donkeys. We cannot tolerate the humiliation of the animals,” said a community member in Varanasi.

Around 1% of voters in the state are from the Kanaujia (the traditional dhobi) community. Their numbers are sizeable in Varanasi, Pratapgarh, Kaushambi and Kushinagar districts.

On Wednesday, Akhilesh again made a reference to donkeys, following Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s attack on his remarks.

“I am not interested in knowing about the donkeys from Gujarat,” Akhilesh said at an election meeting in Baharaich, while responding to Rupani’s  remark that Akhilesh had no knowledge about the ‘donkeys from Gujarat’.

On Monday, Akhilesh had launched a veiled attack on Modi for “promoting” the donkeys of Gujarat and asked actor Amitabh Bachchan not to promote them.

“Even the donkeys of Gujarat are being promoted. Have you ever seen a promotion for donkeys,” Akhilesh had said at an election rally in Raebareli.

“I urge Amitabh Bachchan to stop promoting the donkeys of Gujarat,” he had said, apparently referring to the campaign on Wild Ass Sanctuary in Gujarat.

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