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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

After lunch at Dalit party worker’s home, Yogi slams SP’s ‘social exploitation’

🔴 The Chief Minister’s comments came amid the exodus of three ministers and several MLAs from the ruling party. Two of the ministers, Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, resigned from the state government earlier this week.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
Updated: January 15, 2022 7:06:54 am
CM Yogi Adityanath has a meal at the house of party worker Amrit Lal Bharti, in Gorakhpur. (Courtesy: Twitter/Yogi Adityanath)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who had lunch at the household of a Dalit BJP worker in Gorakhpur on Friday accused the Opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) of the “social exploitation” of the poor.

The chief minister’s comments came amid the exodus of three ministers and several MLAs from the ruling party. Two of the ministers, Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, resigned from the state government earlier this week. They joined the SP on Friday along with five MLAs who also quit the BJP, and a sixth legislator who switched over from the Apna Dal (Sonelal). Both Maurya and Saini are prominent leaders from Other Backward Class (OBC) communities. Their exits have pushed the BJP into launching an outreach campaign for the backward classes.

Adityanath ate khichdi bhoj (a lunch consisting of a rice and lentil dish) at the home of party worker Amrit Lal Bharti in the city’s Jughiya Gate area, which is a Dalit-dominated slum 10 kilometres from the Gorakhnath Math that is headed by the chief minister. Adityanath was seen sitting on the floor, and eating food from a leaf plate along with Bharti’s father.

Later, he laid into the SP and said people would have to understand the difference between “samajik nyay [social justice]” and “samajik shoshan [social exploitation]”.

“Those doing politics of dynasty and nepotism cannot do the politics of social justice. Those who have corruption in their genes they cannot fight for social justice,” said Adityanath, adding that real social justice was about ensuring that the benefits of government schemes reach their beneficiaries without any bias.

“Only 18,000 houses were given to people under the PM Awas Yojna in the full five-year term of the Akhilesh Yadav government in UP, whereas the present BJP government has given 45 lakh houses to the poor and the deprived under the scheme,” said the chief minister.

He added, “Grabbing what is due to the poor as a part of their birthright is not called social justice, it is called social exploitation and we have to understand the difference.”

Adityanath claimed that 2.61 crore households received toilets and 1.36 crore families benefitted from the Ujjwala Yojana under the “double-engine” government, referring to the BJP-led administrations at the Centre and the state. “Those in the grip of dynastic politics cannot give justice to any section of society. The SP government committed dacoity on the rights of Dalits and the poor,” he added.

BJP worker Amrit Lal Bharti, at whose house the chief minister ate lunch, told The Indian Express, “It has long been a tradition of the Math to have bhoj [meal] with the community. As a young kid, I had bhoj with Bade Maharaj [Adityanath’s predecessor Mahant Awadhnath]. Maharaj [Adityanath] used to come very often in the past but his visits became less frequent after he became the chief minister but still all our problems are resolved at the temple only.”

Bharti said his wife cooked the food for the chief minister and other party leaders who visited the house while his father sat down with them to have the khichdi that he served. The BJP worker’s family also gifted Adityanath photos of BR Ambedkar and the Buddha.

(With PTI inputs)

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