Cong leader's visit reignites debate on dalit CM issue

AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Karnataka has reignited the debate on the issue  of dalit chief minister in the State.

In a letter, dated October 8, Chalavadi Narayanswamy, chairman, Karnataka Forest Development Corporation Ltd has urged Gandhi to consider the demand of the dalit community and appoint either senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge or KPCC president G Parameshwara to chief minister’s post.

The party would also get a boost if the high command marked the 125th anniversary of B R Ambedkar by appointing a dalit chief minister. The party was also losing its base as the opposition parties were projecting dalit leaders at the helm.

Criticising Siddaramaiah’s leadership, Narayanswamy has said that some of the “cheap populist schemes” drawn up by the government had become a mockery, with opposition parties criticising the same. “It has become difficult to counter these criticisms as they are true in many cases. As a result of this, the image of the party has been damaged considerably,” the letter stated.

“Grass root party workers are unhappy as they have been neglected totally. Though former legislators and former ministers have been appointed to boards and corporations, they have not been given the status of a cabinet minister. They have not been provided with any facilities nor have they been given executive powers.”

If corrective measures are not taken, it would become difficult to revive the party, he has added.

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