Though embarrassed by party leaders failure to spend even a few hours of austere life at Dalits houses in Uttar Pradesh,the Congress on Tuesday sought to play down the issue. The party claimed the visits had created an impact,notwithstanding a few exceptions where some leaders had used generators and mattresses to make their stay comfortable in Dalit households.
This after being instructed to emulate AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi whose frequent stays at Dalit homes is marked by a conscious attempt to live like the hosts.
On Tuesday,however,the Congress sought to put up a brave front. There could be one or two exceptions and we have discussed this. They have realised it too. I do not agree that all of them did this, party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told mediapersons. In 95 per cent of the cases,the leaders went to Dalit houses and stayed there. This should also be talked about,he added. Ahmed,however,feigned ignorance when asked whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi was upset over the matter.