The Congress on Monday called the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “Jansampark Abhiyan” in Karnataka a gimmick after reports that senior leader BS Yeddyurappa had refused to eat food prepared by a Dalit family when he visited them as part of the initiative, reported News18. The former chief minister was accused of having ordered food from a restaurant when he had visited a family in Chitradurga district on Sunday, instead of eating what they had prepared for him.
A Dalit youth, Venkatesh D, made the allegations and filed a police complaint against the senior leader, reported The Indian Express. The complainant accused Yeddyurappa of untouchability and caste-based discrimination.
Venkatesh said the leader’s alleged act would influence people and that might make situations worse in his native Mandya district, from where several incidents of honour killing has been reported over the years. Madya police told The Indian Express that they had received the complaint and were looking into it.
The BJP spokesperson admitted that some of the food Yeddyurappa had eaten at the Dalit family’s house was indeed bought from a restaurant. “As Yeddyurappa liked idli and vada, it was brought from a hotel,” Dagge Shivaprakash told The New Indian Express. “[But] He also ate pulav that was prepared at the Dalit’s home.”
The Congress called the BJP’s initiative a gimmick. “No politician should go to the family of Dalits and do this kind of a gimmick,” said Congress leader Priyank Kharge. “If anyone is serious about the upliftment of Dalits, they should make policies for it.”