UP CM has lunch at Dalit party worker’s home; targets SP for ‘social exploitation’

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,” said Adityanath.

BJP worker Amrit Lal Bharti told The Indian Express, “It has long been a tradition of the Math to have bhoj with the community… Maharaj [Adityanath] used to come very often in the past but his visits became less frequent after he became the CM but still all our problems are resolved.”


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