- Musahar dalit families were asked them "clean themselves" by officials in preparation for Yogi’s visit last week
- Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “A low level of untouchability was directly practised” and has demanded an apology from the CM
- Earlier, ACs and sofa installed for Yogi’s visit were removed from the slain BSF constable’s house after the CM left
Accusing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his government of practising untouchability, the Congress demanded that he tender an apology to Dalits and a case be registered against him for insulting them.
Referring to reports that authorities distributed soap and shampoo to Musahar dalit families and asked them "clean themselves" before attending a public meeting of the chief minister, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, "The incident has depicted the true face of the BJP and the RSS, particularly the chief minister."
He said Adityanath appeared not to be a 'yogi' (renouncer), but a 'bhogi' (materialistic). "The true face, thought process, thinking, actions have reflected in the way the soaps were distributed and callous officials said that they must smell good before the chief minister. A low level of untouchability was directly practised," he said.
Strongly condemning the incident, the Congress leader said it was unfortunate that he who was supposed to be the guardian of democracy had displayed this mindset and his army of officials had implemented this mindset.
According to media reports, a day before Adityanath's visit to Mainpur Deenapatti village in Kushinagar district on Thursday, Musahar Dalit families received two soaps and a sachet of shampoo, and instructions to "clean themselves" before attending the public meeting. "They (BJP leaders) have insulted the entire community of that village but more importantly they have insulted the concept of dalits in this country," he said.
The Congress spokesperson also asked which part of the Constitution was the chief minister upholding by reflecting such a mindset. "The chief minister must immediately apologise to this community. Appropriate cases must be registered under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against him and his official army, which has practised this brazen and shocking form of untouchability," said Singhvi.
This is not the first time Yogi’s visits across Uttar Pradesh have caused a controversy. Officials and district administrators are often known to resort to last minute preparations to make sure their boss is pleased with the arrangements made for the visit. Previously, this month, the family members of slain BSF head constable Prem Sagar were befuddled when the Deoria district administration installed a window air conditioner, put up a sofa and carpet at their home ahead of Adityanath's visit. Sagar's family members said they were taken aback when the authorities removed the air conditioner, sofa and carpet soon after the chief minister left their place.
with inputs from PTI
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:04 PM IST