Akhilesh asks UP CM to 'reveal' caste of other Gods

Akhilesh asks UP CM to 'reveal' caste of other Gods

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. PTI file photo

Taking a dig at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav asked him to "reveal" caste of other deities so he could pray to the God of his caste.

Yadav's remarks come days after the chief minister described Lord Hanuman as a Dalit.

Adityanath had, during a poll rally in Rajasthan's Alwar district, said, "Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west."

"Caste of only some Gods have been revealed. It will be good if he tells caste of all of them. I will also pray to the God of my caste," Yadav told reporters Wednesday.

Adityanath was strongly criticised by the opposition for his remarks while one of its own Dalit MP quit the party.

Bahraich BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule claimed that Lord Hanuman was "a Dalit and a slave of 'manuwadi' people" and alleged that Dalits and backward were being called 'bandar' (monkey) and 'rakshas' (demon).

The Lok Sabha member quit the BJP last week, charging it with playing politics to divide the society.

Asked to comment on the results of the just-concluded assembly elections in five states, including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, Akhilesh said the outcome was "encouraging".

"Results of assembly polls are out. I thank people of these state especially of Chhatisgarh, MP and Rajasthan and welcome the 'janadesh'. Though our (SP's) performance was not good, we won a seat in MP and stood at second at some places," he said.

To a question on forging a future alliance, he said, "Presently I am seeing how strong my party is and emphasizing on its preparations upto booth level. The SP always stood against communal forces and its objective it so sees happy and prosperous India."

Yadav said that his party did not contest many seats so that it did not ruin the political pitch of other parties against the BJP.

"We did not contest too many seats. We contested on seats where we had some base. We did this to not botch political prospects of other parties against the BJP," he said, adding that his party has already offered support to the Congress in MP.