Govt campaign to reach out to Dalits

Govt campaign to reach out to Dalits

As political temperature has been on the rise over Dalit issues, the government and the ruling BJP reached out  to them with the launch of a fortnight-long 'gram swaraj abhiyan'.

This move has prompted the Opposition Congress to accuse the Modi dispensation to pay only "lip service".

As part of the nation-wide campaign starting  on Saturday on the birth anniversary of Dalit icon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bijapur, a tribal district in Chhattisgarh, to launch several government projects, where he invoked his humble origins.

BJP chief Amit Shah, accompanied by a large contingent of party MPs and ministers, paid tributes to B R Ambedkar on his 127th anniversary in the national headquarters of the party.

During the campaign that concludes on May 5, BJP ministers and MPs will visit around 18,000 villages where the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes constitute more than 50% of the population.

The villages are being covered under seven key schemes of the government, including Ayushmaan, Ujjwala, Ujala, and Jan Dhan Yojana.

The Congress, however, kept up the attack on the government on Dalit issues, fielding its prominent Dalit leader from Haryana, Kumari Selja, who accused the BJP of "eroding" the legacy of Ambedkar.

"The BJP and RSS have an anti-Dalit mindset. They are simply paying lip service (to Ambedkar)" Selja said, while addressing a press conference a day after Modi on Saturday asked people "not to fall into the Congress trap."

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