Shah has time for lunch at backward family homes in Bengal, but he can't go to Hathras: Adhir

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Kolkata, Nov 6 (PTI) West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury on Friday attacked Amit Shah, saying that the Union home minister has time to have lunch at houses of backward community members in the state, but he cannot spare a moment to visit homes of victims of attacks on Dalits in Uttar Pradesh or other BJP-ruled states.

Chowdhury, who was addressing party workers after taking out an anti-farm laws tractor rally, was referring to Shah's visit to the residences of a tribal man in Bankura and a member of the Matua community in North 24 Parganas district to have lunch on Thursday and Friday respectively.

Bankura, dominated by tribal and backward communities, is one of the districts where the BJP had made deep inroads in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, while the Matua is a community of refugees from erstwhile East Bengal, now Bangladesh.

'The home minister can always visit residences of backward community members. But did he go to the house of the Dalit woman at Hathras? Did he visit the houses of other Dalit victims?' he said.

The BJP has faced flak over a string of attacks on Dalits in various states governed by the party, including the alleged gang-rape and killing of a 19-year-old Dalit woman at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh.

At the rally, Chowdhury alleged that the saffron party has unleashed a reign of terror in the states ruled by it and is taking away the rights of Dalits and minorities.

He also accused the BJP-led central government of triggering joblessness in the country by pursuing anti-poor economic policies that back big corporates.

The Narendra Modi regime has taken away the rights of livelihood of small and marginal farmers, the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha alleged.

Turning to West Bengal, he said that both the BJP and TMC are practising divisive policies with an eye on vote bank politics.

'Bengal belongs to everyone, everyone has equal rights here. No effort to create division in the society, among the people of the state will succeed,' he said.

In the rally that culminated at Esplanade in the heart of the city, Chowdhury was on the wheels of a tractor wearing a farmer's hat. PTI SUS NN NN