Amit Shah cancels Agra visit amidst fears of backlash from Dalits


BJP’s national president, Amit Shah, has cancelled his plan to visit Agra to attend a rally amidst fear of backlash from protesting Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.

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Shah, according to several media reports, was scheduled to attend a rally by Buddhist monk and former MP Dhamma Viriyo, who has been leading campaign to garner support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi particularly among Dalit and OBC groups.

Various Dalit groups and BSP workers have opposed any participation to Viriyo’s campaign, known as Dhamma Chetna Yatra, citing the growing atrocities against Dalits by supporters of BJP and its affiliate Hindutva organisations.

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According to a report in Indian Express, BJP’s official reason to cancel Shah’s visit to Agra has been the change of venue, but party sources say the cancellation was prompted by fear that he could be shown blag flags by Dalit protesters.

BJP workers were reportedly asked to leave Viriyo’s yatra by Buddhist monks on 24 July when it reached Aligarh.

Dalits have been protesting against the growing violence against the community after video of four youth being assaulted in Una in Gujarat surfaced earlier this month. What further fuelled the anger was the statement by expelled BJP vice president Dayashankar Singh, who compared former UP chief minister, Mayawati, to a prostitute.