BJP leader Savitri Bai Phule has reportedly resigned from the party. The Dalit leader announced her resignation saying, the saffron party was “trying to create divisions in society.” Phule is one of the 68 BJP Lok Sabha members from Uttar Pradesh. She is all set to hold a mega rally in Lucknow on January 23, 2019.

Here are ten things you must know about her:

1.Phule was born on January 1, 1981, in a Buddhist family at Nanpara in Bahraich district, Uttar Pradesh.

2. She pursued her education at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University in Faizabad.

3. The lawmaker, since her childhood, has been greatly influenced by Babasaheb Ambedkar and Gautama Buddha.

4. Phule was 14 when she first came under the spotlight. Mayawati was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh then, and was in Bahraich in 1995 for a public event where Phule addressed the crowd and spoke about Ambedkar and the constitution. Here, she earned praise from Mayawati and other prominent leaders.

5. Subsequently, Phule joined politics and the BSP as a teenager. She later switched to the BJP, contested elections and became a Member of Parliament. She was elected to the state assembly in 2012 from Balha in Bahraich district as a candidate of the BJP.

6. Phule contested 2014 Lok Sabha election from Bahraich and became a member of the 16th Lok Sabha.

7. Over the years, her support for the Dalits never took a backseat.

8. On 7 September, the MP had filed a complaint against an official from the Dilip Buildcon company over casteist remarks. She claimed he threatened her with dire consequences.

9. Phule has, on several occasions, been critical of the BJP government. According to reports, she termed the government’s cleanliness drive on the Gandhi Jayanti eve a “publicity stunt.” In what appears to be a decision prompted by the recent Bulandshahr violence, the leader announced her resignation attacking the Centre over the rise in crimes against the Dalit community and slammed UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the same.

10. Phule chose the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar to quit the party. Addressing a press conference, she said,  “From today onwards, I have nothing to do with the BJP. My voice was being ignored in the party as I am a Dalit. There is a great conspiracy against Dalits and their rights. The reservation for Dalits and Backwards is also being slowly taken away.”

Recently, while talking about the Ram temple issue, Phule had said, “The country does not need a temple. Will it end unemployment and other problems of Dalits and the backward community? The temple will benefit Brahmins, who are only 3%. The money offered in temples are used by them for their gains and make our community (the Dalits) their slaves.”

Featured image credit: The Pioneer

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