The Karnataka unit of the BJP and its president BS Yeddyurappa have landed in a soup over his consumption of hotel-bought idlis — traditional South Indian rice or lentil cakes — at the home of a Dalit family in the Chitradurga district of the state. A police complaint has been filed against Yeddyurappa, accusing him of practising untouchability.
The BJP leader, however, has hit back at the ruling Congress, accusing it of indulging in "cheap propaganda" because it is "scared with the drifting of Dalit voters." He has also accused to Congress of not keeping the legacy of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar alive.
Yeddyurappa was ostensibly on a Jana Samparka Abhiyana — a rally to connect with the people in the state — in the Chitradurga district on Friday, May 19, when he visited a colony of Dalits. Besides interacting with the people there, he also took stock of the drought-affected areas.
It was during this visit that he had idlis for breakfast at the home of a Dalit family. It has since emerged that the idlis were not made by the family but were bought from an eatery to be served to the state BJP chief and his people. This has led people to accuse him of casteism.
Complaint and defence
Since the incident, a complaint filed with the police against Yeddyurappa and his men has claimed that they were practising untouchability — not touching people of lower castes and anything associated with them, in a form of segregation that is now outlawed.
Yeddyurappa, however, has hit back at the allegations, saying in a series of tweets: "Scared with the drifting of Dalit voters, the Congress stoops to cheap propaganda on my everyday visit to a Dalit's house. The Congress is a party which didn't even celebrate BR Ambekar's 100th birth anniversary. It's the BJP that is celebrating his 125th with festivities."
He added: "Let the Congress explain what it did while ruling the country to keep the legacy of Ambedkar alive. The greatest injustice ever done to Ambedkar when he was alive and after has been by the Congress."