Congress draws flak for ignoring Dalit leaders

Published - April 20, 2010 09:06 pm IST - LUCKNOW

Already under fire for no mention of Bhimrao Ambedkar and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in an eight-page booklet showcasing 125 years of the party, the Congress has now been subjected to a scathing attack by the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh. The booklet was released by Rahul Gandhi on April 14 during the launch of 10 Congress yatras marking Dr. Ambedkar's birth anniversary.

Condemning the “error”, the president of the State unit of BSP, Swami Prasad Maurya, said on Tuesday that the Congress Party's love for the Dalits and minorities was an eyewash. Mr. Maurya said by ignoring Dr. Ambedkar, Jagjivan Ram, who was a Dalit leader of the Congress, and Maulana Azad, the booklet was an effort to glorify the achievements of the Nehru-Gandhi family.

Mr. Maurya said the booklet had vindicated Chief Minister Mayawati's view that the Congress had always ignored the Dalit leaders. The booklet has exposed the Congress' love for Dalits, Mr. Maurya added.

In a statement released here, the UP BSP president saw a political motive in the virtues of one family being extolled in the booklet, which contains no mention of a Dalit leader or that of the minority community. This was despite the fact that the booklet was released by Mr. Gandhi on Ambedkar “jayanti”. It underlined the hollowness of the Congress Party's claim, Mr. Maurya added.

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