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'Mosquitoes bite all night at Dalit homes': UP minister's new gaffe

By Deepika
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    Another Uttar Pradesh minister has sparked a controversy on Friday while talking about visiting Dalit homes and braving mosquito bites to ensure the people receive government benefits.

    Anupma Jaiswal

    "Schemes are made to benefit all sections and to ensure the youth does not deviate from the righteous path. Considering all these things, schemes are being made and to make sure that they are being implemented, ministers are paying several visits, even if mosquitoes bite them all night," UP Minister Anupma Jaiswal said.

    "If someone gets to hold two chaupals, they volunteer to do 4 instead. The satisfaction that we get out of working in this matter is a huge strength for us," she added.

    Suresh Rana triggered a controversy after he reportedly brought with him his own food and water at a dinner hosted at a Dalit household here.

    The incident had taken place in Lohagadh in Aligarh when the minister landed up on the doorsteps of a Dalit family to pay a 'surprise visit'. The visit was in line with party's Dalit outreach programme initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    Pictures of the well laid out dining table with an assortment of dishes and cutlery went viral on the social media.

    "I didn't even know they are coming for dinner. They came suddenly. All food, water and cutlery they had arranged from outside," said Rajnish Kumar, Dalit man at whose house the UP Minister had dinner.

    Recently, two senior leaders of the party made totally contradictory statements on a single day, apparently exposing its confusion over the Dalit outreach.

    While Union minister Uma Bharti compared feeding Dalits to a self-purification activity, Rajendra Pratap, a senior minister in Uttar Pradesh, made a casteist comment comparing BJP leaders visiting Dalit houses to Lord Ram blessing Shabari (a Dalit) in the Ramayana.

    Pratap said the way Lord Ram blessed Shabari by eating the berries, BJP leaders were also blessing Dalits by dining with them. His statement came days after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had dinner and spent a night at a Dalit village in Pratapgarh district on April 24.

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