Bharatiya Janata Party leader P Muralidhar Rao on Monday sparked a controversy by saying that the Brahmins and Baniyas (a community of traders and merchants) are “in his pockets”.

Rao, who is the BJP’s leader in charge of Madhya Pradesh, said his party was now beginning to shift focus to the Scheduled Tribes. He was addressing a press briefing in Bhopal.

“Tribals are part and parcel of Indian cultural history and traditions,” Rao said. “BJP stands for this cultural tradition and diversity. The party wants to address the concerns of backwardness, employment, rights and education.”

Rao added that the party was coming up with a strategy to address these matters. “By the end of 2022, we will achieve all this and there will no longer be a gap between the tribal society and the BJP,” Rao added.

The BJP leader said that his party will also focus on reaching out to the Scheduled Castes. “Our commitment is social and…

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