Agra: The Uttar Pradesh BJP has failed to achieve the target for gathering a crowd of 40,000 Dalits for the much-touted rally of party's national president Amit Shah in Agra on Sunday, forcing the party to cancel the event. The report, however, also said that local BJP leaders claimed that the event had actually been cancelled due to "inclement weather". But the report quoted sources in the BJP as saying that the rally was cancelled because of the dull response it got from the Dalit community and the possible threat of protests against the rally.
The Uttar Pradesh BJP, which was given the target of collecting 40,000 Dalits for the rally, failed to achieve this number. The fact that the BJP is using Buddhist monks for political purposes has not gone down well with Dalits in the state, said the report.
Also, the Yatra's route was changed on Friday night, from the earlier scheduled visits to Dalit colonies of Jagdishpura to some posh colonies in the city and a night halt at Ambedkar Bhawan was changed to a hotel owned by a BJP leader, causing further resentment among Dalits.
BL Verma, president of BJP Braj region, was quoted as saying that instead of Shah, state president Keshav Prasad Maurya and national general secretary Arun Singh will attend the function.
PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the yatra on August 14. Political observers said that the recent events involving attacks on Dalits in Una in Gujarat and other incidents had turned the Dalit community against the BJP.