Uttar Pradesh MP Savitribai Phule announced her resignation from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday, alleging that the party is trying to create divisions in the society.
Talking to News18, she said that she left the BJP because its governments are unleashing a great conspiracy against Dalits and their rights. She also said that she will hold a mega rally in Lucknow on 23 January.
She had recently claimed that Lord Hanuman was "a Dalit and a slave of 'manuwadi' people". Phule had also alleged that Dalits and backwards were being called 'bandar' (monkey) and 'rakshas' (demon).
"Lord Hanuman was a Dalit and a slave of 'manuwadi' people. He was a Dalit and a human. He did all for Lord Ram, then why was he given a tail and his face was blackened. Why was he made a monkey?" Phule told PTI.
During a poll rally in Malakheda of Alwar district, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said, "Lord 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."
Phule has always been critical of the BJP governments. According to Hindustan Times, she termed the government's cleanliness drive on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti a "publicity stunt".
She has also attacked the Centre over the rise in crimes against the Dalit community and slammed Adityanath for the same, reported The Indian Express.
(With PTI inputs)