Karnataka President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) BS Yeddyurappa has landed himself into a major controversy, after allegations emerged that he ate food from a hotel instead of the meal prepared at the house of a Dalit family in Tumakuru.
The senior BJP leader has now been accused of practicing untouchability, with a man called D Venkatesh from Mandya filing a police complaint against Yeddyurappa, reports The Times of India. The complaint, which has also been filed with Home Minister G Parameshwara, alleges that Yeddyurappaâ€™s refusal to eat the food cooked in a Dalit household amounted to caste discrimination. The BJP has, however, denied the charge.
The incident occurred on Friday, when Yeddyurappa and several other BJP leaders visited the house of a Dalit family in Gubbi taluk in Tumakuru district.
According to multiple media reports, a breakfast had been arranged at the house of a Dalit man, who had prepared pulao to serve the leaders. However, Yeddyurappa reportedly ordered idly and vada from a hotel and consumed it.
Political leaders from the JD (S) and the Congress, including CM Siddaramaiah and HD Kumaraswamy came down heavily on Yeddyurappa for not eating the food cooked at the house.
After criticism arose from various quarters, Yeddyurappa said that he had eaten at a Dalit's house to convey the message that his party supported a socially equitable society.
"The reason for having breakfast at a dalit's home was to send out a message that the BJP and I are for a socially equitable society . But what can I say when people are criticising me for having breakfast bought from outside?" he was quoted as saying.
The BJP also claimed that the complaint was politically motivated, to thwart the partyâ€™s Dalit outreach programme.