Only Dalit leader to have won polls 7 times in south India, yet denied cabinet post, says BJP MP Jigajinagi

Vijayapura (Karnataka): Veteran BJP leader and MP Ramesh Jigajinagi on Tuesday expressed his displeasure at not being inducted into the Union Cabinet, saying that he was left out through being the only Dalit elected to the Lok Sabha seven times in south India.

Addressing reporters in Vijayapura, he said: “I don’t want a ministership, I want people. When I came back from New Delhi, people cursed me. They told me that the party is anti-Dalit and I should not join it. Many leaders from the Dalit community argued with me.”

“What kind of injustice is this? I am the only Dalit to be elected from the entire South India in seven general elections. All upper caste leaders got a chance in the cabinet. Have Dalits not supported the BJP at all? I can only tell that I am pained by the development,” he added.

Jigajinagi is a seven-time parliamentarian who won three consecutive elections from the Chikkodi (SC) constituency and four times from the Bijapur (SC) seat. He has never lost the parliamentary elections in his over four-decade-long political career. A former Karnataka Minister, he had been Minister of State for Drinking Water & Sanitation from 2016 to 2019 in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first government.


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