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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yoginath claimed Hanuman was a Dalit (a constituency reserved for Scheduled Castes) while campaigning in Malakheda (Alwar) on November 27.
He was addressing a rally in states where elections are being held, Mr Adityanath had said, “Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west.”
“This was his resolve as it was Lord Ram’s wish. Just like him, we should also not rest till we fulfil that wish,” he added.
He also said that the people of the district would vote for ‘Ram bhakts’ and not ‘Ravana.’
A group that calls itself the "Rajasthan Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha" had sent the chief minister a legal notice accusing him of playing on Hanuman's caste for votes in Rajasthan.
The notice read, “I am saddened that UP chief minister called Lord Hanuman deprived. His statement has hurt the religious sentiments of several devotees. Those who are deprived they get the strength to fight the odds. It is a sheer attempt to take political mileage in the election.”
The statement drew strong criticism from the Congress and Nationalist Congress party while BJP defended him and said, "Yogi Adityanath Ji kept his point straight while some have double standards in politics.”
The 200-member Rajasthan Assembly is scheduled to go to polls on December 7 and counting of the vote will take place on December 11.