Wooing Dalits, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has said that his party would be their backbone in the time to come and attacked Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati for not grooming leaders among the community.
He said he would stand by them to ensure their progress irrespective of the amount of time it takes.
"You ask in Uttar Pradesh for five Dalit leaders and the answer you will hear is Mayawati, Mayawati, Mayawati, Mayawati and Mayawati... I want there to be a queue of leaders at all levels, in UP, Delhi, at block levels, in villages...," he said.
Rahul was addressing a meet -- National Dialogue on Social Disparity -- organised by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes in New Delhi.
He said his party would be backbone of Dalits in the time to come.
Rahul has been making concerted attempts to win back Dalit support base from BSP in Uttar Pradesh, which would be an important factor in its electoral fortune in the polls scheduled for early next year, but without much success.
He mentioned Food Security Bill, passed by Lok Sabha yesterday and is being seen by the ruling party as a game-changer before elections, and Right to Information Act to stress his party's commitment to people's welfare.
"You will have to keep faith in Congress," he said.
He said it is necessary to empower people so that they could throw up grass-roots leadership instead of a few people in all parties deciding who would be there leaders.
Rahul also spoke on his travel through Uttar Pradesh and said Dalits were discriminated.
"In schools, when I asked teachers who were the most intelligent students in their classes, they pointed to some sitting in the front bench while those in the back-benches were least bright."
"They would be Dalits," he said, terming it discrimination.