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‘Dalits will boycott BJP’s Baroda bypoll candidate’

Congress Dalit MLAs have said that BJP’s Baroda bypoll candidate Yogeshwar Dutt would face a complete boycott by Dalits and backward communities for making a statement against their rights and for his politics of creating social division to polarise the electorate.

Former Ministers and Congress Dalit legislators Geeta Bhukkal, Shakuntala Khatak, Balbir Valmiki, Jayveer Valmiki and Varun Mulana addressed a press conference in Gohana on Thursday and strongly objected to a tweet by Mr. Dutt two years ago and the anti-reservation statement made recently.

Former Minister Geeta Bhukkal said it was unfortunate that Mr. Dutt, who benefited from the sports category for the DSP post and availed of financial support, pointed a finger at the reservation provided to Dalits and backwards. “Yogeshwar Dutt has expressed his anti-reservation mindset many times. In a tweet two years ago and his statement in an interview two days ago, he spoke about ending the reservation of Dalits and backwards. The entire Dalit society and backward classes condemn and oppose it,” she said.

Jaiveer Valmiki, MLA from Kharkhauda, said the RSS often talks of ending reservations and Mr. Dutt wants to pursue the same campaign. “If people of such mindset and views reach the Assembly by mistake, then their mission will not be to serve the people but to advance their agenda,” he said.

Economic criteria

Geeta Bhukkal said Mr. Dutt talks about reservation on economic basis, but he does not know that Haryana, under the leadership of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, was the first State in the country to give reservation on economic ground.

“The aim of Yogeshwar, BJP or RSS is not to give reservation on economic grounds, but to end the reservation of all classes. Therefore, now every section of society has to decide whether such people should be voted or boycotted,” she added.

Mr. Dutt could not be reached for his comments despite repeated attempts.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 8:05:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/dalits-will-boycott-bjps-baroda-bypoll-candidate/article32923111.ece

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