news Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 18, 2015 | 1.17 pm IST After murmurs for days, several Dalit groups have made the loudest demand yet for a Dalit to be made chief minister. The open reference is to G Parameshwara and almost as an afterthought, Mallikarjun Kharge. During a meeting on Tuesday, leaders of various Dalit groups and political parties such as the Republic Party of India, Shoodra Sene, Samata Sainik Dal, Madiga Dandora and Chalavadi Mahasabha passed a resolution urging the Congress to make a Dalit leader the chief minister of the state. In fact the attempt to prop up a Dalit CM has been so brazen that the Dalit groups have issued an ultimatum to the Congress. The groups say that if the Congress does not announce a change by March 5, they will start an agitation.  Chief Minister Siddaramaiah belongs to the Kuruba community, which is a backward caste. When Siddaramaiah became chief minister, there was some discontent in the party as he was considered an outsider. Kharge’s supporters wanted him to be chief minister, but Kharge has always remained loyal to the party and has refrained from making open or veiled demands for the post of chief minister. He has generally maintained that he would serve the party and accept any responsibilities that the party gave him. Parameshwara, on the other hand, has always been very vocal about his ambitions. So far, he has had his eye on the post of a minister in the cabinet, and then it was also Deputy chief minister for a while. He has reportedly gone to great lengths to engineer events so that he could be made a minister.  Read: The cat-and-mouse game between Siddaramaiah and the Congress state president All these efforts appear to have been futile and the demand for being made chief minister began to be bandied about in the last few weeks. This is being perceived as another tactic orchestrated by Parameshwara as Siddaramaiah has so far refused to accommodate him in the cabinet in any capacity. Earlier, the deadline was the appointments of the chairpersons to various boards and corporations run by the state; it now stands at “let the Assembly session get over”. Siddaramaiah appears to have made Parameshwara an unwilling player in the game of shifting goal posts. However, it is Parameshwara who is adamant that he be part of the government. Tweet
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