Adik in troubled waters over caste remark
(By Mahesh Vijapurkar)
Mumbai, March 4: An order of a magistrate in Jaina in Marathwada to initiate action against Mr. Govindrao Adik, MLC, and chief of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress(I) Committee, for his utterance that hurt the feelings of Mahars, a sub-group of the Scheduled Castes, may trigger a political campaign for his replacement.
Mr. Adik is to be probed and proceeded against under Sections 153-A, 295-A and 298 of Indian Penal Code on the basis of the order of the Judicial First Class Magistrate of Jalna who took note of a social worker's plea. Mr. Adik's speech in Jalna some weeks ago referred to Mahars by their caste while talking about their traditional work done as a caste-linked service known as balutedari.
A mere commencement of the action on this front is enough to trigger a problem for the party which Mr. Adik was building to win the next elections without having to form a coalition. There are vested interests to present Mr. Adik as an anti-Dalit.
Even if Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Minister, remains reticent, factionalism in the Congress(I) may activate a campaign against Mr. Adik. Mr. Adik had met the party president, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, to present his side on how a smear campaign was being carried out even after his unintended remark "was withdrawn without conditions and with an apology""