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Monks show door to BJP leaders after Dalits protest

Currently in its second leg, the Dhamma Chetna Yatra by 80 odd monks had reached Naurangabad Sunday where Mayor Shakuntala Bharti was present, along with several local BJP leaders, to greet them.

Written by Ishita Mishra | Agra |
July 25, 2016 2:10:53 am

In a major embarrassment to the BJP, a group of Buddhist monks, currently campaigning for the saffron party for next year’s Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday told local BJP leaders to leave the venue in Aligarh after Dalits and Jatavs protested against their presence.

Currently in its second leg, the Dhamma Chetna Yatra by 80 odd monks had reached Naurangabad Sunday where Mayor Shakuntala Bharti was present, along with several local BJP leaders, to greet them.

As a large section of Dalits and Jatavs objected to the presence of BJP leaders, the monks promptly asked the latter to leave the premises, leaving the party leaders red-faced.

The yatra, which began from Sarnath on April 24 and aimed at wooing Dalits for the BJP, was flagged off by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. It is being supervised directly by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and PM Narendra Modi is likely to address the yatra’s concluding ceremony on October 14 in Lucknow.

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While asking the BJP leaders to leave, the monks told them “not to do politics of votes at our spiritual campaign”.

Several BJP leaders couldn’t enter the premises as hundreds of Dalits, allegedly backed by BSP, announced to boycott the party. The protesters raised anti-Modi and anti-BJP slogans — “Rohith Vemula ke hatyaron wapas jao”, “Daliton ka shoshan karne waalon wapas jao” — and agreed to call off their demonstration “only if all the BJP leaders leave the premises”.

Mayor Bharti said the protesters had “merely expressed their anger” at the expelled BJP leader Dayashankar’s abusive words against Mayawati.

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