The issue of ‘Dalit Chief Minister’ has come to haunt the Congress party in Karnataka as Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara has once again raised the issue after he revealed that he was thrice denied CM post by the party as he was a ‘Dalit’.
Addressing a gathering of the Chalavadi community in Davangere, Deputy CM Parameshwara said that he lost the opportunity of being the Chief Minister of the state three times as he had belonged to the ‘Dalit’ community and added that he had to reluctantly accept the Deputy Cheif Minister’s post, leaving the Congress party red-faced.
Expressing his disappointment over the reluctance of the Congress party to accommodate Dalits into higher posts, Parameshwara said that Dalit leaders are not being given a chance to be the Chief Minister. Dalits are being discriminated at the government level and even though reservation is facilitated, there has been injustice in promotions, said G Parameshwara.
He further said that Dalit leaders of the Congress party PK Basavalingappa, KH Ranganath and the current Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge were also not made the Chief Minister as they had belonged to the Dalit Community. “All of them could have become CMs, but were victims of Dalit suppression,” he said.
Highlighting the untouchability prevailing the society, Deputy CM Parameshwara said that the evil practice is rampant in rural Karnataka and till now Dalits were being prevented from entering temples, hotels and barbershops despite the fact that constitution has guaranteed them their rights. He further added that seven government officials, who were demoted, had committed suicide. “Our government will come out with rules next week to implement reservation in promotions, he added.
The statements of Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara indicates the increasing friction within the party over the issue of Dalit politics. The unholy alliance of the Congress-JDS in the state and ceding the post of Chief Minister to a junior partner in the coalition has added more fuel to the fire. G Parameshwara, one of the influential Dalit leaders in the state has now exposed the anti-Dalit stand of the Congress party, which otherwise claims to be the champions of inclusive politics.