The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had last month asked its lawmakers at the Centre and in states to spend at least one night with Dalit families in villages and restore the faith of the community in BJP.

At a time when the party leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is trying to change how BJP is perceived by Dalits, Union minister Uma Bharti pushed the BJP into major controversy with a bizarre comment. She said she did not consider herself “Lord Ram” who could “purify Dalits”.

According to media reports, addressing a gathering in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur district she said she did not consider herself Lord Ram that she could purify Dalits by eating at their home. She added that she would prefer inviting Dalits to her home and serve them personally.

Uma Bharti reportedly made the statement at Samajik Samrasta Bhoj in Naugaon’s Gadhmau village and refused to take part in the mass meal.

Earlier, BJP leader Rajendra Pratap Singh found himself under fire for his controversial statement in connection with having dinner at Dalits’ homes.

Addressing a chaupal at Gadhmau village in Badagaon Block of Jhansi district, he reportedly said the way Lord Ram blessed Shabari by eating her berries, BJP leaders were also blessing Dalits by going to their homes.