New Delhi: BJP on Thursday called Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's visit to Gujarat following attacks on some dalit men a "political pilgrimage" and "photo-op" and accused the opposition of trying to make political capital out of social tensions.
With the party coming under increasing attack from opposition over its "anti-dalit" stand, senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu sought to highlight its pro-dalit and pro-weaker sections credentials by noting that it had highest number of SC, ST and OBC Members of Parliament.
He claimed in a press conference that the opposition was afraid because weaker sections of the society were moving to the BJP and the Modi government was "immensely popular". So they have launched a disinformation campaign against it, he alleged.
They are doing so because of the UP assembly polls, he said.
"They, including our main rival (Congress) are instigating one community against another," he said.
Attacking Gandhi over his Gujarat visit, the Information and Broadcasting Minister said he did not find time to visit Kerala where a dalit girl was raped and murdered and the Hyderabad university, where many dalit students committed suicide during the UPA government.
He also targeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his likely visit to the place tomorrow.
"Now they are making a political pilgrimage. It is nothing but an attempt to make political capital out of social tensions," he said.
Taking a swipe at Gandhi over reports that he dozed off in Parliament during the debate on the issue of attack on dalits, he said "Now he is doing a photo-op. We know what he was doing in Parliament".
At another press conference, party spokesperson Vijay Sonkar Shastri hit back at Gandhi over his remarks that the dalit protest in Gujarat was an outcome of fight between two ideologies with Gandhi-Nehru-Ambedkar on one hand and BJP on the other.
He should not "misguide" the country with his "lack of knowledge" of history and eyeing dalit votes.
"Does Rahul know how much difference was there between the ideologies of Ambedkar and Congress? Nehru had created such a situation that Ambedkar had to leave Union Government.
Congress did not even confer him with Bharat Ratna....