Meerut, Aug 11: A group of Dalit lawyers on Friday 'purified' a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar after Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader garlanded it. The lawyers said the BJP oppreses Dalits and its leaders garland Ambedkar's statue only for Dalit votes. They cleaned the statue with gangajal and milk.
"RSS's Rakesh Sinha came and garlanded the statue. The BJP government oppresses Dalits. They've nothing to do with Ambedkar but do this to promote BJP and allure Dalits. So we purified this," one of the protesting lawyers told news agency ANI. They also accused the BJP of sparking violence between Dalits and upper caste people in Saharanpur in April.
“We conducted the statue’s shuddhikaran to highlight the dual strategy of RSS-BJP combine, which on one hand engineers harassment of Dalits and on the other garlands statues of our leaders to promote a pro-Dalit image," another lawyer said. Several BJP leaders are in Meerut for the party's two-day working committee meeting.
A spokesperson of the BJP refuted the charged levelled by Dalit lawyers and said the party is following the principles of Dr Ambedkar. “We are building an India that Ambedkar, who is a national icon, always dreamt of. It is the opposition parties who have been trying to tarnish our image as an anti-Dalit party," BJP's Chandra Mohan was quoted as saying.