New Delhi, Apr 9 (PTI) The BJP today accused the Congress of playing a “joke” on Dalits with its “farce of a fast” and mocked the opposition party, saying its leaders claim of bringing a change but cannot abstain from one meal and their president Rahul Gandhi cannot wake up in morning even for a day as they are used to “politics of luxury”.

After a picture of Delhi Congress leaders having a meal at a restaurant before they were to sit on a fast at Rajghat “against the alleged caste violence and communalism” went viral, the BJP latched onto it to claim that the opposition party’s “double standards” were exposed and that it had ridiculed Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of ‘satyagrah’.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also took a dig at Rahul Gandhi for turning up at Rajghat at 1 pm while the fast had started at 10.30 am, saying it shows that the Congress chief cannot wake up in morning as he and his colleagues were used to “politics of luxury”.

He contrasted it with the “politics of performance” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, he noted, comes from a common family belonging to backward caste and has worked to bring Dalits in mainstream socially and economically.

“This is politics of performance versus politics of luxury. You cannot wake up in morning, cannot escape even one meal but you claim of bringing a big change…. You have played a joke on the poor and Dalits while sitting in Rajghat,” he said.

Patra also attacked Rahul Gandhi for calling Modi anti-Dalit, saying the Congress denied Dalits financial inclusion during its long rule and its leaders cannot escape one meal for them.

“It is the Congress which is anti-Dalit not Modi who economically and socially empowered them with schemes like Jan Dhan and Mudra,” he said.

Referring to the presence of Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, accused of involvement in anti-Sikh riots, at Rajghat, Patra said that the Congress leaders’ decision to keep them away from dais was an admission of guilt.

He ridiculed the Congress’ nation-wide fast, saying its leaders had come to the Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial to talk about non-violence but the presence of Kumar and Tytler exposed the party’s “real violent” face.

“The Congress has fallen into its own trap. What we have seen from Rahul Gandhi today is not a fast but the farce of a fast. (It was) an attempt by his party to fast track his politics to burnish his credentials despite people rejecting him time and again,” Patra told reporters.

“It was not ‘upwaas’ (fast) but ‘uphaas’ (mockery),” he said.

“The Congress had today lost in the eye of the people,” he claimed, adding “the masses will answer to its misleading politics in 2019 with truth and the NDA will return with a bigger mandate”.

The “hunger of power” of the Congress and the Gandhi family were exposed, he said, claiming that the opposition party practices one kind of politics before cameras and another behind it.

The Congress was now doing politics to divide the country for its interests, he claimed.

After the BJP’s allegations, Delhi Congress’ Arvinder Singh Lovely said his party leaders had breakfast well before the protest began and added there was nothing wrong in it.

The fast was scheduled to begin at 10:30 AM and we were busy with preparation till late night yesterday. We went for breakfast at around 8 AM. So, there is nothing wrong in it, Lovely told reporters.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.