'Mosquitoes bite all night at Dalit homes,' says UP education minister

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

Uttar Pradesh Education Minister Anupma Jaiswal got embroiled in a controversy on Friday when she said that ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are ensuring proper implementation of the schemes by visiting Dalit households, despite getting bitten by mosquitoes.

As Uttar Pradesh Minister Suresh Rana courted controversy by ordering food from a restaurant instead of eating at a Dalit's house, the Congress on Wednesday said the BJP was "only indulging in pretence and drama" in the name of Dalits.

Jaiswal is the third BJP minister to have made such a gaffe in a week.

Earlier, Suresh Rana has created a controversy by bringing his own food and water at a dinner hosted by Dalits. "They are staying in villages overnight despite mosquito bites and the best part is they all are feeling very happy", Jaiswal told ANI.

Rana, however, had rejected the allegation saying, "The food was prepared in the village, by the villagers themselves".

"Ours is the first government reaching out to the villages, holding chaupals, spending night in open braving the mosquitoes".

While Union minister Uma Bharti compared feeding Dalits to a self-purification activity, Rajendra Pratap, a senior minister in Uttar Pradesh, made a casteist comment comparing BJP leaders visiting Dalit houses to Lord Ram blessing Shabari (a Dalit) in the Ramayana. His statement came days after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had dinner and spent a night at a Dalit village in Pratapgarh district on April 24. She contended that the ministers were sharing food with dalits and posting pictures on social media to gain publicity.

"We are committed to work for the betterment of all sections of the society". She added that she would prefer inviting Dalits to her home and serve them personally. She had said she never participates in such meals as she does not consider herself as Lord Rama who could visit someone's home and purify it.

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