New Delhi, Aug 10 The BJP has decided to aggressively counter the Opposition's onslaught over the recent string of atrocities against Dalits in various parts of the country to restore its image among the community.
A meeting of BJP's Dalit union ministers, MPs and party's office bearers of Scheduled Caste morchas at the Centre and states was held here on Tuesday at the Gujarat Bhawan to decide its strategy on the Dalit issue.
The meeting was headed by BJP's General Secretary (Organisation) Ramlal and SC morcha in charge Bhupendra Yadav.
RSS leader Krishna Gopal was also supposed to attend the meeting but he gave a miss in the last minute, sources said.
According to sources, all the Dalit leaders were asked to counter the Opposition's onslaught over the issue aggressively.
"We have been asked to step up contact with the community and educate them about the initiatives taken by NDA government," a Dalit BJP leader, who was part of the meeting told IANS on conditions of anonymity.
The Dalit leaders have also been asked to convey the message to the community about the vote bank politics of Opposition parties.
"Go and tell the community what those parties have done for their welfare since independence. They have used them only as vote bank. They didn't even confer Bharat Ratna to Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar," the BJP leader said.
The Dalit leaders have been asked to educate the community about central government schemes like Mudra Bank and Stand Up India especially meant for them.
After the Una incident in Gujarat, where Dalits were beaten for skinning a dead cow, the incidents of atrocities against Dalits have been reported countrywide.
Even BJPs Dalit MPs had asked Modi and the party leadership to act tough on such incidents.
After such incidents, the opposition especially the Congress has been continuously raising the issue of attacks on Dalits and and been targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government for "not being serious" over it.
Breaking his silence on cow vigilantism, Modi has said he felt "very angry" at such incidents and has asked state governments to prepare a dossier of people who are "running shops" in the name of cow protection.
Echoing the sentiments of Modi on cow vigilantism, the RSS also said "some anti-social elements are taking law into their hands in the name of cow protection" and sought "strict action" against them.