Lucknow, Aug 20: Congress on Thursday, Aug 20 took out a 'Bhim Jyoti Yatra' to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and woo Dalits in Uttar Pradesh in view of the 2017 assembly elections in the state.
The yatra aims at creating awareness among people about the work done by Congress for the Dalit community.
As part of its year-long programme to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, the party has launched 'Bhim Jyoti Yatra' to inform people about the work it has done for Dalits, Congress MP P L Punia said.
The first phase of the yatra would continue till September 8, he said. The yatra would cover various Dalit localities and people would be apprised of the welfare schemes started by Congress for them, he said.
Punia, who is also the Chairman of the SC/ST Commission, said "whatever work was done (for the Dalit community), it was done during the Congress regime (at the Centre)".
He said Ambedkar considered socio-economic inequality as one of the biggest challenges and Congress "did a lot to remove it, though the target has not been achieved yet".
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi realised the dream of equal rights to women.
Therefore, his anniversary was chosen to launch the yatra, he said.
Criticising the previous BSP government in the state on the issue of reservation in promotion, Punia said "in 2006, the Supreme Court had termed it illegal and ordered to examine it before implementation".
BSP chief Mayawati, however, got it implemented without reviewing it, he said.
Describing SP as a "declared anti-Dalit party", the Congress leader said, the ruling party has 58 Dalit MLAs in Vidhan Sabha and "the government will fall if they withdraw support".