Paswan will now ride a 'rath'

The Times of India News Service

LUCKNOW: Taking a cue from senior Bharatiya Janata Party eaders, Union communications minister Ram Vilas Paswan will take out a 'Rath Yatra' to awaken Dalits in Uttar Pradesh.

A meeting of Lok Janshakti leaders has been convened on July 4 to chalk out details of the yatra.

Paswan, who was in city on Monday to address a meeting of the party workers, announced attractive programmes for his party workers. The inclusion of `right to work' in the fundamental rights of the Constitution, free education up to class XI and healthy living for all will be his plank, said Paswan.

Talking to reporters after the conclusion of the function, Paswan said that leaders of the Lok Janshakti would tour remote areas of the state to awaken the people, especially Dalits, about these issues. ``Everyone has a right to live a dignified life for which these things are important'', said the communications minister.

Paswan came down heavily on the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) accusing the party of overplaying the Dalit card to win votes. He said: ``Where were Kanshi Ram and Mayawati when Dalits had been facing bullets in Bihar. In the last 10 years, not less than 30,000 Dalits have been killed but the two so-called champions of Dalits did not open their mouth even for once."

On killing of Dalits in Aligarh and Fatehpur, he said:" These killings happened owing to family feuds. They should not be given the colour of caste conflicts."

When asked about the CBI request to the government to issue a fresh notification for trying the guilty in the Babri Masjid demolition case, the communication minister felt that the NDA should take it up at its next meeting. He, however, said every party in this matter should abide by the court directives.

On VP Singh's decision to hold Mandal Sammelan, the communications minister had an advice for the former prime minister. "The leader should be a visionary and should not harp on the same topic endlessly", said the former friend of Singh. "Neither Mandir-Masjid nor Mandal was going to cut any ice with the electorate this time."

Paswan said that though he did not believe in doubletalk, being in the NDA did not mean that he should stick to each and every decision of theirs.

He said he felt that Laloo Prasad Yadav and Jayalalitha were the most corrupt people in the country, but the electorate in their states obviously did not think so.

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Referred by: Mukandan CM
Published on: June 27, 2001
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