Dalit MP Savitri Bai Phule quits BJP, says it’s ‘creating divisions in society’

Phule had on Tuesday claimed that Lord Hanuman was “a Dalit and a slave of ‘manuwadi’ people”, joining a row which erupted over UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement that the deity was a Dalit.

Uttar Pradesh lawmaker Savitri Bai Phule resigned from the BJP Thursday, alleging the party is trying to “create divisions in society”.

The Dalit leader, an MP from Bahraich, has long been critical of the BJP government at the state and the Centre. She said her objective was to get the Constitution implemented in letter and spirit. “I have resigned from the party. But I will continue as a Lok Sabha member till the end of my tenure,” she said in Lucknow.

On BJP’s stand of constructing a temple at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site, Phule went against her party and said the country needs a “constitution, not a temple.”

She said she will launch an agitation to champion the cause of Dalits from December 23, PTI reported.

On Tuesday, Phule claimed that Lord Hanuman was “a Dalit and a slave of ‘manuwadi’ people”, wading into a row which erupted over UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement that the Hindu deity was a Dalit. She alleged that Dalits and backwards were being called ‘bandar’ (monkey) and ‘rakshas’ (demon).

“Lord Hanuman was a Dalit and a slave of ‘manuwadi’ people. He was a Dalit and a human. He did all for Lord Ram then why he was given a tail and his face was blackened. Why was he made a monkey?,” Phule said. “When he did all for Lord Ram with devotion, he (Lord Hanuman) should have been made a human and not a ‘bandar’ (monkey). At that time also he had to face humilation due to being a Dalit. Why can’t we Dalits be considered humans?”, she said.

Phule had earlier raised questions on BJP leaders dining at the houses of Dalits and had termed the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah, “a mahapurush” (great personality), causing embarrassment to her party.

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