Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit to the Saint Ravidas Temple, which was revered by the members of the Scheduled Castes (SC) across the world, in Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appeared to be aimed at wooing the community in the wake of forthcoming Assembly polls in Delhi.
Modi had also visited the temple earlier.
Priyanka’s visit assumes added significance as not long ago, the BJP government at the Centre had come under attack over the demolition of the Ravidas Temple at Tughlaqabad in Delhi by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
Thousands of members of the community from different parts of the country had taken to streets in Delhi in protest against the demolition following the Supreme Court order.
According to the political observers here, Priyanka’s visit to the temple was “aimed at sending across a message to the Dalits in Delhi’’.
“Priyanka has tried to win back support of the Dalits, not only in UP but also in Delhi,’’ said a political analyst here.
Congress had failed to win any seat in the Delhi assembly polls in 2014.
Of the 70 Assembly seats in Delhi, as many as twelve were reserved constituencies. “Dalits can play a crucial role in these seats,’’ the analyst added. Delhi goes to polls on February 8.
Meanwhile, Priyanka on Friday met the students and civil society members, who had taken part in the protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, in Varanasi and extended them full support of her party.
The Congress leader, who arrived on a day’s visit to the town, also made it clear that the Congress-ruled states would not implement CAA and NCR.
During her meeting with the students of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), who were booked for protesting against the CAA, the Congress leader slammed the police action and said that she was “proud of” the students.
“Many innocent students and teens were kept in jails for several days… The protesters also apprised me of the behaviour of the cops,’’ she said.
Priyanka also met the parents of the two-year-old child who were arrested for taking part in the protests. Their arrest had hogged the limelight as the child was left alone with no one to look after him.