Rahul Gandhi goes all out to get Dalit support in Delhi and Rajasthan

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Days after Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking justice for Dalits who continue to suffer the wrath of upper castes, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi held two meetings in the last 24 hours to signal Congress’ plans of making a pro-Dalit and pro-people pitch.

The meetings – with Delhi’s sanitation workers who ended a 10-day stir for salaries yesterday and with Babulal, a Dalit from Rajasthan’s Nagaur whose mother was burnt alive over a land dispute recently—come at a time when the BJP government has been announcing mega plans to celebrate Dr BR Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary.
After meeting the workers whose strike he joined on Friday, Rahul said, “Yesterday I spent 15 minutes with sanitation workers. But today I told them that I am ready to give my life for their cause.”
Asked if he credited the release of workers’ salaries by the Delhi Lieutenant Governor to his participation in their strike, he said, “I am not into why salaries were released, what was the reason …I am just saying I will stand with the workers, the weak and the exploited no matter where they are.”
While today’s meeting with Delhi municipal corporation sweepers was meant to position the Congress on the people’s side with the MCD elections due sometime later, Rahul’s yesterday’s meeting with Babulal was meant to push its pro-Dalit agenda.
For Babulal, the meeting with Rahul was a ray of hope for justice at a time when his aggressors, who attempted to burn him, his mother and son alive, have only recently been arrested. Congress’ Scheduled Caste cell chairman K Raju says, “If the BJP loves BR Ambedkar so much why does their government in Rajasthan take months to arrest the perpetrators of Dalit atrocities?”

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