news Monday, March 02, 2015 - 05:30
Anisha Sheth| The News Minute | March 2, 2015 | 9.54 am IST Follow @anisha_w Dalits in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s home district of Mysuru want to know what objection he has to appointing a Dalit as deputy chief minister, when he himself successfully made the demand in the past and served as deputy chief minister twice Spearheading the demand is the Mysuru City Dalit Mahasabha, an organization of Dalits of belonging to various sub-castes. Speaking to The News Minute, President of the Mahasabha Rajesh said that the he wants to ask the chief minister one question. “In the past, he ensured that he became the deputy chief minister twice. What problem does he have now, to appoint a Dalit as the deputy chief minister?” Posters demanding that a Dalit be made chief minister have cropped up all over Mysuru under the banner of the Janandolana Kriya Samiti. Rajesh denies that his organization is involved, saying that the posters belonged to another group. However, sources said that the group had merely used the name of the samiti, a non-existent group, to put up the posters. This demand for a Dalit chief minister which cropped up around two months ago is being seen as invisibly orchestrated by state Congress chief G Parameshwara, who has been vocal about his ambitions. Asked why they had not made these demands before the last two months, Rajesh said: “When the Congress won the elections, they said that Parameshwara had lost the elections and rejected his demand. But even after making him Member of Legislative Council, they are refusing. M Veerappa Moily had appointed S M Krishna as deputy chief minister in order to appease the Vokkaliga community,” he said. He said that Siddaramaiah too had been appointed to the post in 1996 during the J H Patel government and in also in 2004 during the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government headed by N Dharam Singh. However, sources say that while the demand of the Dalit groups is genuine, their activities are being logistically supported by Parameshwara and his supporters. “Siddaramaiah’s refusal to appoint a Dalit as deputy chief minister is because he does not want Dalits to be empowered. Siddaramaiah has said that he too is a Dalit, he may be one, but Siddaramaiah is a touchable Dalit, whereas (Mallikarjun) Kharge, G Parameshwara and we, are untouchable Dalits,” Rajesh said. He said that his organization were not particular about who the Congress appointed as deputy chief minister. “We want the Congress to make a Dalit the chief minister, but Digviajaya Singh has said that the party will not change the chief minister. If they cannot do that, then the least they can do is appoint a Dalit as deputy chief minister. Both Mallikarjun Kharge and Parameshwara are good leaders, either one of them is acceptable to us,” he said. Follow @thenewsminute Tweet
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