Dalits must seek share in power: Moopanar

By Our Special Correspondent

SALEM, DEC. 18. The founder-leader of the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), Mr. G. K. Moopanar, has assured Dalits that his party was willing to share power with them and help fulfil their aspirations.

Addressing the ``Dalit social justice'' conference organised by the Republican Party of India here on Sunday, Mr. Moopanar said there was no point in repeating in meeting after meeting that the Government was `not conceding Dalits' demands'.

The situation would change for the better if the Dalits aimed at participating in governance and power. Mr. Moopanar said he would support the Dalits in this.

The conference said all over the State, about two lakh acres of panchami lands had been encroached upon by various communities. The Government must identify these lands, and restore them to the farm labourers. To facilitate this, it must constitute a separate commissionerate, a resolution said.

Another resolution called upon the Government to form separate bank to meet the financial requirements of the Dalits. Though there existed the TAHDCO to extend loans, the funds were being cornered by `benamis'. Further, many banks shy away from lending money to the dalits.

The conference also sought a monthly dole of Rs. 1,000 to the educated unemployed youths belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Due to the liberalised economic policy and privatisation, the employment markets had shrunk, it said.

In another resolution the conference said thousands of cases were pending against the allotment of house site pattas by the Adi Dravidar Department. If these cases were to be cleared without delay, a separate court must be set up. It called for setting up of a separate housing board to create appropriate shelters for the Dalits in urban areas.

These resolutions were supported by the leaders of other political parties such as Mr. K. M. Khader Mohideen (IUML), Mr. P. Dhanapal, former MLA (AIADMK), Mr. K. Jegaveerapandian (Rashtriya Janata Dal), Mr. N. Ramasamy Udayar, member of the Property Protection Committee of the TMC, and others.

Those who participated in the conference included Mr. Prakash Ambedkar, MP and national president of the RPI, Mr. S. K. Tamilarasan, national general secretary, Mr. M. C. Rajendran, State general secretary, RPI, and others.

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