December 9, 2016 10:34:37 pm
Pushing for reservation in private sector and promotion in government services, and a nationwide judicial service with quota benefits, several Dalits leaders, including Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, on Friday announced a rally in the national capital next year to press for their demands. Union Minister Ramdas Athawale used the meeting of Dalit leaders, who were from the ruling BJP-led NDA, to assert that they may be with BJP but not RSS, whose Hindutva agenda is not well-received by sections of Dalits.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Athawale noted that never before as many events related to Bhim Rao Ambedkar, an icon of the community, were held as they were under him.
Paswan, who is president of BJP’s ally LJP, said show of strength is the path to achieving power as he called for holding a rally on March 12 when, he added, the Budget Session of Parliament would be underway. The Dalit leaders were speaking at a meeting of National Dalit Front, a body formed by Paswan to promote issues aimed at the underprivileged community’s welfare.
Udit Raj, a BJP MP, asked the community members to participate in big numbers, asserting that a show of strength is the only way to pressure various political parties into accepting their demands. He lamented that unlike other communities, like Marathas and Jats who have come together to push their welfare agenda, Dalits were not coming out in big numbers to push their cause.
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