The BJP on Saturday said that it would make “honest efforts” to address dissatisfaction among Dalits and Patidars, a day after a Dalit journalist in Rajkot returned award to the BJP-led Gujarat government, saying that atrocities against Dalits were on the rise and that the state and Central governments had failed to protect Dalits even after incidents like Una flogging.
“We are working with Bharat Maata Ki Jai and Sauno Sath, Sauno Vikas as our mantras. If dissatisfaction exists anywhere or if there are any such issues, we shall make honest efforts to address them,” state BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said on Saturday while addressing a press conference on party’s vistarak programme to reach voters ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled for November this year.
Rajkot-based journalist Sunil Jadav on Friday had returned Mahatma Phule Shreshta Dalit Patrakar Award conferred on him by the state government to Rajkot district collector, saying that the state government had failed to protect Dalits. Since last July, there have been protests by Dalits after seven young men from the community were publicly flogged by gau rakshaks in Una taluka of Gir Somnath district.
Asked what the party’s effort to quell the ongoing stir by Patidars seeking recognition as OBC, Pandya said that his party was making all efforts to win over the community again. “Patidars have always been with the BJP and will continue to be so… They are sensible. Who are there with Congress?… In democracy, people can oppose politically on some issues. But it has been our endeavour to approach them positively and find a solution. We made possible efforts and our efforts will continue to find a solution,” said Pandya.