Uttar Pradesh lawmaker Savitri Bai Phule resigned from the BJP Thursday, alleging the party was playing “divisive politics” and was misusing money to construct temples and statues.
The Dalit leader, an MP from Bahraich, has long been critical of the BJP government at the state and the Centre. She said her objective was to get the Constitution implemented in letter and spirit. “I have resigned from the party. But I will continue as a Lok Sabha member till the end of my tenure,” she said in Lucknow.
“Desh ke chowikdar ki pehredari mein, sansadhono ki chori karai ja rahi hai (the country’s resources are being looted under the watch of the country’s gateman),” she said in a sneering reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
She also castigated the BJP, saying people did not get Rs 15 lakh as promised but money was being misused in the construction of statues and temples. “It (BJP) is spreading hatred by raking up Hindu-Muslim, India-Pakistan issues and doing nothing to bring back those who fled with our money,” the 37-year-old MP said.
“I am resigning on the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar as Manuwadi mentality is being promoted and the RSS, the VHP and the BJP are hurting the sentiments of Dalits and Muslims by creating a 1992 like situation. They are playing divisive politics and vitiating the communal atmosphere…,” she said.
On BJP’s stand of constructing a temple at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site, Phule went against her party and said the country needs a “constitution, not a temple.”
She said she will launch an agitation to champion the cause of Dalits from December 23, PTI reported.
On Tuesday, Phule claimed that Lord Hanuman was “a Dalit and a slave of ‘manuwadi’ people”, wading into a row which erupted over UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement that the Hindu deity was a Dalit. She alleged that Dalits and backwards were being called ‘bandar’ (monkey) and ‘rakshas’ (demon).
“Lord Hanuman was a Dalit and a slave of ‘manuwadi’ people. He was a Dalit and a human. He did all for Lord Ram then why he was given a tail and his face was blackened. Why was he made a monkey?,” Phule said. “When he did all for Lord Ram with devotion, he (Lord Hanuman) should have been made a human and not a ‘bandar’ (monkey). At that time also he had to face humilation due to being a Dalit. Why can’t we Dalits be considered humans?”, she said.
Phule had earlier raised questions on BJP leaders dining at the houses of Dalits and had termed the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah, “a mahapurush” (great personality), causing embarrassment to her party.