LUCKNOW: Congress leaders and workers on Saturday cleaned Dalit settlements and Valmiki temples across Uttar Pradesh against an alleged “casteist remark” by CM Yogi Adityanath.

In a reply to a query over Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s act of sweeping the floor during her detention in Sitapur recently, Adityanath on Thursday had said people want them to be fit only for this and they reduced them to it (janata unko usi layak banana chahti, aur usi layak bana diya).

In response to the chief minister’s remark, Gandhi had descended on a Dalit colony and cleaned the premises of a Maharshi Valmiki temple.

Accusing the CM of making a “casteist remark”, she said he insulted the Dalits and announced that all district committees of the party will clean Valmiki temples on Saturday.

A party release said taking exception to the chief minister’s indecent remark, the party decided to register its protest and on Saturday, Congressmen across the state took part in a “satyagraha” by cleaning Dalit settlements and Valmiki temples, where they also offered prayers.

The party said Adityanath’s statement is anti-Dalit and anti-women.

His mentality is plagued by arrogance and feudal narrow-mindedness, it alleged.

Despite taking the oath of the Constitution and occupying a constitutional post, he is making frivolous remarks against the Dalits, the release said, adding that safaii karamcharis are hurt by it.

UP Congress spokesperson Pankaj Tiwari said in Varanasi, where the party is holding a public meeting on Sunday, state unit president Ajay Kumar Lallu and former MP Rajesh Mishra cleaned Maharishi Valmiki’s statue and a park.

They also honoured a member of the Dalit Swachhakar Samaj and said cleanliness is the mantra given by Mahatma Gandhi to walk the path of truth and non-violence.

The release said the CM is crossing the limits of dignity by making remarks which will not be accepted by a civilised society.