Sena leader and chief spokesperson of the Shiv Sena, Sanjay Raut, has accused the BJP of being unable to forget caste divide after a stinging editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana accused the UP government and the BJP of playing up a "publicity stunt" of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's meal in a Dalit household.
"BJP leaders still organise lunch in a Dalit household and need to publicise it. This clearly shows that caste is in their minds and they are not ready to let go of it. The country has been divided on the basis of caste for political gains," the editorial said.
"So the caste eradication programmes are a mere sham... Even today, tickets to contest elections are distributed based on caste arithmetic. The chief minister and Prime Minister give importance to caste and organise meals. They can't let go of caste and are out to bring about social transformation," it continued.
Controversy erupted after CM Yogi Adityanath chose to have lunch in the house of a Dalit worker on the occasion of Makar Sankranti the day when several defected BJP minister joined the rival Samajwadi Party. Former UO minister Swami Prasad Maurya's resignation letter had taken up the issue of BJP lack of concern for backward caste issues.
The Sena editorial also highlighted the incident where Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dip in the Ganga and washed the feet of five Dalits, saying that by highlighting caste, the BJP aimed more to play "vote bank politics" than actually eradicate caste.
"The country has been divided on the basis of caste for political gains. So the caste eradication programmes are a mere sham," the editorial was quoted as saying. Even tickets to contest elections were distributed based on caste arithmetic while the Chief Minister (Adityanath) and PM were unable to let go of caste to bring about social transformation.
Spokesperson Raut mocked Yogi's actions saying that the people of Uttar Pradesh would not forget the mass deaths that occured during the second wave of Covid-19 in India.
"The manner in which people have seen dead bodies in the Ganga and still they think they will win 300 seats? Will the bodies from the Ganga vote for them? Certainly those who suffered will not vote for them," Raut said, adding that he hoped the SP and Congress would bring about a change in UP.