National News Analysis

23 May 2024, 18:47 PM

Unity Convention’ of Scheduled Castes and Tribes


The Congress party has decided to hold the ‘Unity Conference’ of Scheduled Castes and Tribes at Chitradurga on January 8,” said former Deputy Chief Minister and former KPCC President Dr. G.  Parameshwar said.

He announced this issue at a press conference on Wednesday at the KPCC office on Queen’s Road.  On this occasion, former Union Minister KH Muniyappa, KPCC Working President Satish Jarakiholi, former Minister HC Mahadevappa, H.  Many leaders including Anjaneya, Koppal District Congress President Shivraj Thangadagi were present.  On this occasion, Parameshwar, who gave information about the convention, said;

Before and after independence, the exploited sections of the society have expressed their support for the Congress party.  Since then till now these communities have continued to support the Congress party.  Ambedkar has incorporated in the constitution of India by bringing many laws for their welfare at the center and in the state as well as the Congress party.  All efforts have been made to implement them.

For the development of Scheduled Castes in Karnataka, it has been working legally to bring them out of the poverty line and into the mainstream.  Today different parties are trying to convince him.  Which parties did not try for their welfare.  Those who did not put up Ambedkar’s photos in the party offices are now coming to sleep in Dalits’ houses and get food from other hotels.

Attempts are being made to mislead these communities.  So all the Congress party leaders are with you for our people.  We all decided to hold a preliminary meeting to reassure you that we are there to protect your well-being.

In the preliminary meeting, leaders of all Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities came together and decided that all the communities should come together to hold this convention.  There are 101 communities in Scheduled Castes and 52 in Scheduled Tribes, all these communities should be brought on one platform.  Everyone’s problem is same, we should not be different.  They are trying to divide and rule us.  In our state, both the communities together constitute 24.1% of the population, which is about 1.5 crore people.

It is decided to hold this conference on Sunday 8th January at Chitradurga.  If it is done in Bangalore, it will alienate the people of North Karnataka.  Therefore, it has been decided to hold the convention at Chitradurga in central Karnataka for the convenience of all.  AICC President Mallikarjuna Kharge will participate in this program along with AICC General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, KPCC President D.K.  Shivakumar, Legislative Party Leader Siddaramaiah, Upper House Opposition Leader B.K.  Hariprasad, Chairman of Campaign Committee MB Patil will participate.

We request any one of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi to participate in this program.  The program will discuss the problems of this community.  By that the public will be made aware.

Reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is not alms.  That is the right of this community.  Anyone can talk about reservation.  But Ambedkar had given reservation for 10 years with the intention of bringing the economically, socially and educationally backward classes and the exploited into the mainstream of the society.  He thought that in 10 years from this reservation the people of this community will see a change and come up in the society like anyone else.  In the background of this not being possible, all the governments are continuing the reservation.  There have been many criticisms recently.  We demand that reservation should continue as long as there is untouchability, this community cannot prosper.

In Siddaramaiah’s government, it was decided to allocate 24.1% of the budget according to population.  It was not just a word but a law.  In this law, it was stated that if this grant is not utilized, action will be taken against the concerned authorities and the amount of expenditure for that year will be carried over to the next year.

In the last budget of Siddaramaiah’s government, more than 30 thousand crores was allocated through SCSP- TSP.  But for the past three years, the BJP government has thrown the law into the air.  The last budget amount was 2.63 lakh crores, 24% means 42 thousand crores grant should have been given by the BJP government.  But only 29 thousand crores have been given.  The less grant given has not been utilized properly.

Now the BJP government is pressing the issue of increasing reservation.  They are shouting that we have increased reservation from 15% to 17% for Scheduled Castes and 3% to 7% for Scheduled Tribes.  But basically it was the Congress party that laid the foundation for this.  When Swamiji and MLAs of the ST community started fighting during the coalition government, our government promised and formed a committee under the chairmanship of Nagmohan Das.  By the time this committee’s report was submitted, the government had fallen.  If our government had continued then, we would have implemented this ourselves.

Now our demand is to bring this reservation in legal framework.  It should be included in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution.  If the central government does not agree to this, it will not be implemented.  It is limited to a mere statement.

The issue of housing construction and student stipend has to be discussed.  Not enough students are being given scholarships.  This is causing problems to thousands of students in the hostels.  Why is the government, which is getting publicity for the increase in reservation, not solving these problems?  We had made a law that reservation should be given in KIDB, reservation should be given in lease.  Now it is not followed.  All these issues need to be discussed.

All our community should come together on one platform and solve the problem.  The Congress party must promise that they are with you.  BJP and JDS leaders are making a drama of sleeping in the houses of Dalits.  We have to call not to believe this play.

We are calling the preparation of the convention as unity convention.  The reason is that we have different caste communities and we have given this name because all the communities should be united.  Various committees will be formed for the preparation of this convention.  This convention is being held to show our unity through the Congress party.

*K.H.  Muniyappa:*

We have 101 communities in Scheduled Castes and 52 in Tribes and BJP is creating a system to divide and rule us.  So we must unite.  Equality for all as per Gandhiji’s ideology, Ambedkar’s wish of constitution can only be done by Congress party.  All communities should be made aware of this.

1.5 crore people have to be reached in the country by bringing back the revolutionary changes that happened during Indira Gandhi’s time.  All communities should be convinced through unity convention.  Everyone should support the Congress.

*Satish Jarakiholi:*

It has been decided to hold a conference of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in Chitradurga on January 8.  It has been decided that we all community should unite and raise our voice about the problem in one platform.  5 lakh people are expected to join this convention.  We visit this historic convention space and check it out.

Through this platform, we demand that the scheme that was given to this category during Siddaramaiah’s time should be implemented again.  We are holding a convention to convey the message that we should all be united and be with one party.

Parameshwar replied to the media’s question that the cases of violence against Dalits are increasing and now the party is trying to woo Dalits. He said, ‘We ourselves are Dalits.  We don’t need to woo anyone.  The government has failed to protect Dalits because of atrocities and killings.  As a Congress party, our agenda is the protection of Dalits.  It is the Congress party that has brought the law to protect them.  It is the government’s job to implement it.  We raised our voice when there was atrocity during our government.  We do not sit idly by giving a statement in such a case.  We have gone to the victim’s house and consoled them,” he said.

When asked whether he would express political aspirations of Dalits in the unity convention, he said, ‘Reservation is our right.  We demand that in politics.  We will demand in the party within the framework of the Congress party,’ he said.

On the question that Dalits are not eligible to become Chief Minister, he said, ‘We all are eligible and when the time comes we will bring it to the attention of the High Command.  We are bound by the rules of the Congress party and the Congress has given us protection.  Congress has worked hard to bring it into the mainstream of society.  Let’s first bring the Congress party to power and leave the issue of Chief Minister selection to the High Command.  Personal question does not arise here.  Our question is to show our unity and bring Congress to power.  This is the reassurance that we Congress party gives to our people to empower the poor and empower them.  After observing this, the High Command said.

Satish Jarakiholi said, ‘This should not have happened’ when asked by the media about the border dispute.  The two governments should discuss this.  This is causing problems to common people.  He said that the two governments should try to solve the problem.

When asked about Maharashtra ministers’ insistence on visiting the state’s district, he said, ‘They can come to our district.  But you can’t come here and hold a meeting and upset people’s feelings.  That would be wrong.  Let them come and discuss the problem with the government.

When asked about the Home Minister’s statement that there was bloodshed over the border issue during the Congress, he said, ‘The situation 40 years ago is different, the situation now is different.  Earlier, if you spoke Marathi, they would attack you.  But now there is no such situation.  In this way, the Congress party has contributed in improving the situation.  He said that the mentality of Marathi and Kannadigas has improved, only the political mentality needs to improve.

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