Dalits, BCs bid for Cabinet posts
By Our Staff Reporter
KOLLAM, MAY 16. The State president of the Kerala Dalit Federation and State general convener of the Dalit-Backward Classes Front, Mr. P. Ramabhadran, has called upon the UDF leadership to accord adequate representation to the Dalits and Backward Classes in the A.K. Antony Cabinet.
At a press conference here today, he said that the Dalits and Backward Classes had played a major role in ousting the LDF Government from power. The new Cabinet should comprise at least two Ministers from the Dalit sections and they should be given important portfolios.
He said that Dalits, Ezhavas, Muslims, Vishwakarmas and Latin Catholics were ignored the most during the LDF rule. Officers from the Dalit sections were targeted and harassed. There was also large scale misappropriation of funds meant for the welfare of the Dalits.
He noted that the Dalits had vowed to defeat the Speaker, Mr. M. Vijayakumar, for ignoring their demand to install a statue of Dr. Ambedkar statue at the new Legislature complex and the Dalits and Backward Classes had joined hands to affirm that the Education Minister, Mr. P.J. Joseph, would be defeated for ignoring the demands for allocation of educational institutions.
Citing the examples set by the States of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, he said that in these two States where the Congress is in power, due recognition has been given to the Dalits. The Karnataka Cabinet has eight Dalit Ministers and one of them even handles the Home portfolio. In Madhya Pradesh the two Deputy Chief Ministers are Dalits.
He wanted the UDF leadership to take these aspects into serious consideration and grant due recognition for the Dalits and Backward Classes in the new Cabinet.