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Dalits take centre stage in Rahul Gandhi’s Chitradurga rally

HOLALKERE (Chitradurga): With the nation’s focus on Dalits and the perceived ‘dilution’ of the SC/ST act, AICC president Rahul Gandhi attempted to cash in on the BJP’s anti-Dalit sentiment by raking up a year old controversy. He tore into BJP leaders for allegedly insulting the community by getting breakfast from outside while staying in houses of Dalits.
“While the BJP says it is pro-Dalit but its leaders didn’t eat at their house,” Rahul said during the Janashirvad Yatre in Holalkere, the constituency of incumbent social welfare minister H Anjaneya. “This shows their concern for the welfare of the Dalit community.”
Addressing a gathering at Kote Nanjappa Maidan, Rahul said of the recent protests in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan: “Dalits are facing hardships in BJP-ruled states.” He termed the battle between Congress and BJP as the fight between “satya” (truth) and “asatya” (lies)
Dinner diplomacy
Meanwhile, late Tuesday night, Rahul ‘chaired’ a ‘diplomatic’ dinner meeting between chief minister Siddaramaiah and the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha (AIVM) president, Shamanur Shivashankarappa. Shamanur is also the sitting Congress MLA from Davangere south constituency.
According to sources, district minister and Shamanur’s son S S Mallikarjun had hosted a dinner for Rahul and other senior party leaders at his residence. At the meeting, Rahul urged Siddaramaiah and Shamanur to bury their differences over recommending religious minority status to Lingayats and Veerashaiva-Lingayats (believers of Basavanna tattva) community.
“Both CM and Shamanur spoke to each other and posed for photos. While Shamanur left early, the dinner continued till 1am,” sources said.
According to sources, Shamanur is likely to contest from Davanagere South constituency. “He is keen to contest, which was communicated to the Congress leaders,” said a party leader from Davanagere.
..Siddaganga mutt, barely a week after BJP chief Amit Shahvisited the Lingayat mutt. Rahul called on the mutt's pontiff Sri Shivakumara Swamiand sought his blessings. He presented the seer with a bouquet of 111 roses to coincide with the seer’s 111th birthday celebrations held on April 1.

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