Dalit chief minister: Massive rally planned in Bengaluru
Bengaluru, Feb 19: Dalit organisations are now planning to hold a massive rally in Bengaluru if the Congress high command fails to meet its demand of appointing a dalit as the chief minister by March 31.
Several dalit organisations, including Samata Sainik Dal, Madiga Dandora, Dalit Sangarsha Samithi, had come together on Tuesday seeking that the Congress leadership prove its commitment to social justice by replacing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with State Congress president G Parameshwara.
The proposed rally is aimed at showing the unity among dalits and sending a message to the Congress party that dalits would distance themselves from the party in the next Assembly elections if the demand is not met.
The rally will take place only if the party fails to replace Siddaramaiah with a Dalit leader. In all probability, the organisations will step up their demand around April 14, to coincide with Ambedkar Jayanti.
Former IAS officer K Shivaram, who had participated in Tuesday’s meeting, said the organisations will meet on a regular basis henceforth.
He said the organisations have nothing against Siddaramaiah as such. “We wholeheartedly supported him when he was named for the CM’s post. We have only sought that once he completes two-and-half years, a dalit should be made CM for the remaining tenure,” Shivaram said on Wednesday.
He pointed out that the dalit community had always exhibited unflinching support to the Congress in electoral politics and it was time for the party to reward it.
The Congress sources said Parameshwara had the active backing of former Union minister Mallikarjun Kharge. However, Kharge’s son and Congress MLA, Priyank, denied it. “We do not know who organised the meeting. Mr Kharge has always maintained that there is no vacancy for the top job. The focus of the government and the party now is to present a good budget,” the MLA said.
Parameshwara had even planned to visit New Delhi to meet AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi and apprise him of the political developments on Wednesday. However, that did not come through. He was in the Congress office till afternoon.