Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, a Congress leader, paid a surprise visit to a dalit neighbourhood in Lucknow on Friday, picking up a broom in response to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s criticism of her for sweeping the floor at the Sitapur guest house where she was imprisoned.
Taking aim at the chief minister for his “casteist remark,” Priyanka later declared in a tweet that all of the party’s district committees will clean Valmiki temples on Saturday.
People want them to be suited solely for this and they degrade them to it, Adityanath remarked earlier in the day in response to a question on Gandhi’s behaviour of scrubbing the floor during her detention (janata unko usi layak banana chahti, aur usi layak bana diya).
These people have no work except spreading nuisance and negativity, he said during a programme at a private TV news channel.
In response to the chief minister’s remark, Gandhi descended on a dalit colony and picked up a broom, saying it is a symbol of simplicity and self-respect.
While mingling with inhabitants of Luv Kush Nagar, the Congress general secretary cleaned the premises of a Maharshi Valmiki temple there, saying crores of women and sanitation workers in the country use brooms daily for cleaning, a Congress spokesman said. She also prayed at the temple.
“He has not humiliated me by saying so,” Priyanka added, “but he has humiliated you all because crores of dalit brothers and sisters are safai karamcharis and they do this labour.”
“I’ve come here with you all for the cleaning chores, and I’ve told Yogiji that cleaning and using a broom is an act of self-respect,” she explained.
“By making a casteist speech today, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh demonstrated his anti-dalit mentality. The Lord Valmiki temples will be cleaned by all district Congress committees in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow. Hundreds of thousands of Dalits and women in India will not be insulted “In a tweet tagging a video of her cleaning a premises in the dalit community, Priyanka said.