Saturday, August 02, 2003

Congress 'satyagraha' against 'ill-treatment' of Dalit MLA

HYDERABAD: State Congress leaders on Friday staged a day-long satyagraha at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Secunderabad protesting against the ill-treatment meted out to senior Dalit MLA Dr P Shankar Rao (Shadnagar) and the growing number of atrocities on Dalits all over the State.

The PCC took up the protest after Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked them to build up a movement against the TDP Government, focussing on the plight of Dalits in the present dispensation.

On June 5, when Dr Shankar Rao was on his way to inaugurate a TTD Kalyana Mantapam in Shadnagar, the police prevented him and later registered a case against him for trespassing.

In a belated protest, Congress leaders observed the satyagraha, demanding action against the TTD officials and the police who prevented Shankar Raos entry into the Kalyana Mantapam on caste grounds.

Addressing the gathering, PCC president M Satyanarayana Rao said that the TDP had an innate hatred for Dalits. The Dalits were living in constant dread of the ruling party everywhere, he said.

CLP leader YS Rajasekhar Reddy said that the TDP was always against Dalits, even those within the party.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu sacked Dalit Minister S Devaiah because he faced a charge of murder, but glossed over the fact that ministers K Sivaprasada Rao and P Ramasubba Reddy faced similar charges, he said.

Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao said that the only way to oppose the TDPs anti-Dalit policy was to wage a relentless battle. He also had a dig at his own party pointing out that none protested the treatment meted out to Dr Shankar Rao until the direction came from Sonia Gandhi.

Source: Newindpress.com, August 2, 2003

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