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‘Such sahbhoj never happen, except at weddings’: Resident of the lower-caste basti where Yogi went for lunch

🔴 On January 14, Makar Sankranti, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath dropped in at the home of a Dalit BJP worker, Amrit Lal Bharti, at Manbela Basti in his fiefdom Gorakhpur for a khichdi bhoj. Gautam on what such visits mean:

Written by Lalmani Verma |
Updated: January 23, 2022 4:03:48 am
Makar Sankranti, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Dalit BJP worker, Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath news, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsRam Keval Gautam, 48, Resident of the lower-caste basti where Yogi went for lunch

On January 14, Makar Sankranti, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath dropped in at the home of a Dalit BJP worker, Amrit Lal Bharti, at Manbela Basti in his fiefdom Gorakhpur for a khichdi bhoj. Gautam on what such visits mean:

1. How do you and your family make a living?

I drive an autorickshaw. My elder brother is a daily wage labourer, and a younger one is a jawan in the Sashastra Seema Bal. He helps out with expenses for the education of my four children.

2. Does the Manbela basti also have upper castes?

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Of the over 1,000 voters here, almost half are Dalits and the rest are backward castes and Muslims. There is no person from the upper castes here… We live in harmony. There is no dispute among us.

3. Do the different castes share meals frequently?

Such sahbhoj never happen inside the basti, except at weddings where everyone is invited and eats together. When Maharaj ji (Adityanath) was elected as MP for the first time (1998), we all dined together at a nearby Shiv temple.

4. How do you see Adityanath sharing a meal with a fellow Dalit?

Certainly this can end discrimination in society. We hope so. Though, here we don’t face any such issues.

5. How would you rate Adityanath’s performance as head of the Gorakhnath Mutt and CM?

As MP he did good work in Gorakhpur, and this has continued. Money was sanctioned for beautification of the area around the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar in the basti. When he is elected as an MLA now, I hope there is more focus on this area (the basti falls in Gorakhpur Urban, from where Adityanath is contesting). I hope Maharaj ji will also boost employment opportunities for our children.

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