Adequate berths in Cabinet for Dalits sought

KOLLAM: Dalit organisations on Wednesday urged the UDF leadership to give more representation to Dalits in the new Cabinet.

In a press conference here on Wednesday, Kerala Dalit Panthers State president K Ambujakshan and secretary Asokan Edavattom wanted three berths in the new Cabinet for Dalits.

They urged the would-be UDF Government to take an early decision on installing Ambedkar statue in front of the Assembly building.

The KDP leaders also sought adequate representation for Dalits while constituting various corporations and boards. They also demanded setting up of State SC-ST Commission to prevent atrocities against Dalits.

According to them, CPM has lost relevance in Kerala politics. They said the main cause for the defeat of the LDF Government was its "anti-Dalit and anti-tribal policies".

Meanwhile, Kerala Dalit Federation State president and Dalit-Backward Communities Front State general convener P Ramabhadran urged the UDF leadership to include two Dalit ministers in the new Cabinet and to give important portfolios to them.

Talking to media persons here on Wednesday, Ramabhadran said that in Karnataka there were two Dalit Cabinet ministers in the Congress-led Government. In the Congress-led Government in Maharashtra, there were eight Dalit ministers including four in Cabinet rank.

Only CPI had shown some consideration to the Dalit community in the State by installing a Dalit member as Deputy Speaker, he said.

He said Dalits ensured the defeat of former Speaker M Vijayakumar, "who refused to install Ambedkar statue in front of the Assembly building" and Education Minister P J Joseph, "who refused to allocate Plus-Two course to the only school under the Dalit management in Kottayam district".

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 18, 2001
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