‘Was warned BJP is anti-Dalit party’: Karnataka BJP MP Ramesh Jigajinagi’s outburst

Jigajinagi, while speaking to the media in Vijayapura, criticised BJP’s preferential treatment towards upper caste members over Dalits in cabinet appointments.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 09, 2024 | 7:57 PM Updated Jul 09, 2024 | 7:57 PM

‘Was warned BJP is anti-Dalit party’: Karnataka BJP MP Ramesh Jigajinagi’s outburst

Senior BJP leader from Karnataka and seven-time MP Ramesh Jigajinagi has voiced dissatisfaction over his exclusion from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet.

Jigajinagi, a prominent Dalit leader, expressed his disappointment while speaking to the media during the inauguration of the MP’s office in Vijayapura.

“I don’t need the cabinet post. I need people. When I returned (to the constituency), many people cursed me. Several people argued that they had cautioned me about the BJP being anti-Dalit,” the dismayed Bijapur (SC) MP told reporters.

He said that despite the opposition from the Dalit community for aligning with the BJP, he had joined the party.

Jigajinagi criticised BJP’s preferential treatment towards upper caste members over Dalits in cabinet appointments. He claimed that all the upper castes were given ministerial posts.

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‘All upper castes given ministerial posts’

“There is a pressure from the people (for the cabinet post). Is it justice or injustice? In the entire South India, I am the only Dalit leader to have been elected seven times (for the parliament),” the BJP leader said.

“Everyone from the upper caste became (the cabinet ministers). Haven’t the Dalits supported the BJP? I am deeply pained,” Jigajinagi said.

Quoting South First’s post on Jigajinagi, renowned journalist and author Ravish Kumar on Tuesday, highlighted the rarity of such open criticism within the BJP.

“After a long time, such a voice has come from within the BJP. Even a seven-time MP did not get a chance in the cabinet. An MP speaking up is a bigger issue than this,” Kumar said in his post on X in Hindi.

Jigajinagi is a seven-time parliamentarian, who won three consecutive elections from Chikkodi (SC) constituency and four times from the Bijapur (SC) segment. He has never lost the parliament elections in his over four-decade-long political career.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj, with inputs from Nolan Pinto)

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