Shah faces Dalits’ wrath over Hegde’s Constitution jibe

The Day One of BJP president Amit Shahs tour of old Mysore region on Friday began on an embarassing note with Dalit leaders confornting him on continuation of Union Minister of State for Skill Development Anantkumar Hegde in the Council of Ministers, despite his statement that the Constitution would be changed.

At an interaction Shah had with with Dalit leaders at Rajendra Kalamandira here, the participants questioned the logic behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi continuing Hegde in the ministry. BJP state vice president V Srinivas Prasad told Shah that the people see the party as anti-Dalit due to Hegdes statements.

The Dalit leaders flung accusations at the party and Shah and asked him to clarify the BJPs stand on Hegdes statement. “Due to Hegdes statement, Dalits have developed a negative impression about the party,” they stated.

When Shah claimed that the BJP has no connection with Hegdes statement, Choranahalli Shivanna and his supporters condemned Shah and raised slogans against him. “Though Hegde defamed the Constitution compiled by Dalit leader B R Ambedkar, the BJP has not dropped him from the ministry. You (Shah) have been claiming that the BJP has no connection with his statements. We have no faith in your words,” they said.

Commotion prevailed as participants rained several questions and did not even allow Shah to answer them. When MP Prathap Simha directed party volunteers to evict the participants who were behaving arrogantly, some of them left the venue shouting slogans against the dignitaries.

When Shah continued his speech, someyouths, apprentice with the Railways, alleged that Karnataka Dalits are being neglected by the Centre with regard to promotions. They forced Shah to receive their memorandum. Shah said Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal have discussed the issue and will take appropriate measures.

Shah also attended a Scheduled Tribes convention in Chamarajanagar town. The BJP chief visited Suttur seer Shivaratri Deshikendra Swami at JSS Mutt, before meeting the members of the erstwhile royal family at the Amba Vilas Palace. He held talks with Pramoda Devi Wadiyar and her son Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar. He also greeted Yaduvers baby Aadyaveer Narasimharaja Wadiyar. While the visit to the mutt is supposed to seek the support of the seer, in the wake of the state governments recommendation for minority tag for Lingayats, visit to the Palace was to garner the support of the Wadiyars.

Shah also had an audience with Siddeshwara Swami of Vijayapura-based Jnanayogashrama at JSS mutt at Suttur. He also sought blessings met was Ganapathi Sachidanada Swami of Avadootha Datta Peetha.

In view of strengthening the Hindutva credentials of the party, he met the family members of Raju of Kyathamaranahalli, a RSS activist and BJP member, who was murdered in 2016 in Mysuru city by a gang of suspected Peoples Front of India activists.

Shah said Raju is a symbol of the 24 RSS/BJP activists who have died fighting for principles and, assured the families of all the victims that the BJP is with them.

Shah held a meeting with the leaders of Krishnaraja, Chamaraja and Narasimharaja, Kollegal and Hanur constituencies.

The Day One of BJP president Amit Shah’s tour of old Mysore region on Friday began on an embarassing note with Dalit leaders confornting him on continuation of Union Minister of State for Skill Development Anantkumar Hegde in the Council of Ministers, despite his statement that the Constitution would be changed.

At an interaction Shah had with with Dalit leaders at Rajendra Kalamandira here, the participants questioned the logic behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi continuing Hegde in the ministry. BJP state vice president V Srinivas Prasad told Shah that the people see the party as ‘anti-Dalit’ due to Hegde’s statements.

The Dalit leaders flung accusations at the party and Shah and asked him to clarify the BJP’s stand on Hegde’s statement. “Due to Hegde’s statement, Dalits have developed a negative impression about the party,” they stated.

When Shah claimed that the BJP has no connection with Hegde’s statement, Choranahalli Shivanna and his supporters condemned Shah and raised slogans against him. “Though Hegde defamed the Constitution compiled by Dalit leader B R Ambedkar, the BJP has not dropped him from the ministry. You (Shah) have been claiming that the BJP has no connection with his statements. We have no faith in your words,” they said.

Commotion prevailed as participants rained several questions and did not even allow Shah to answer them. When MP Prathap Simha directed party volunteers to evict the participants who were behaving arrogantly, some of them left the venue shouting slogans against the dignitaries.

When Shah continued his speech, someyouths, apprentice with the Railways, alleged that Karnataka Dalits are being neglected by the Centre with regard to promotions. They forced Shah to receive their memorandum. Shah said Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal have discussed the issue and will take appropriate measures.

 Shah also attended a Scheduled Tribes convention in Chamarajanagar town. The BJP chief visited Suttur seer Shivaratri Deshikendra Swami at JSS Mutt, before meeting the members of the erstwhile royal family at the Amba Vilas Palace. He held talks with Pramoda Devi Wadiyar and her son Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar. He also greeted Yaduver’s baby Aadyaveer Narasimharaja Wadiyar. While the visit to the mutt is supposed to seek the support of the seer, in the wake of the state government’s recommendation for minority tag for Lingayats, visit to the Palace was to garner the support of the Wadiyars.

Shah also had an audience with Siddeshwara Swami of Vijayapura-based Jnanayogashrama at JSS mutt at Suttur. He also sought blessings met was Ganapathi Sachidanada Swami of Avadootha Datta Peetha.

In view of strengthening the ‘Hindutva’ credentials of the party, he met the family members of Raju of Kyathamaranahalli, a RSS activist and BJP member, who was murdered in 2016 in Mysuru city by a gang of suspected People’s Front of India activists.

Shah said Raju is a ‘symbol’ of the 24 RSS/BJP activists who have died fighting for principles and, assured the families of all the victims that the BJP is with them.

Shah held a meeting with the leaders of Krishnaraja, Chamaraja and Narasimharaja, Kollegal and Hanur constituencies.

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