Telangana polls: PM Modi woos Dalits with MRPS chief by his side

Hyderabad: In a major outreach to the Madiga community, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, November 11 promised to constitute a committee to examine the long-standing demand for the sub-categorisation of the Scheduled Castes (SC).

He made the promise at the ‘Anagaarina Vargaala Vishwaroopa Mahasabha‘ organised by the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) in Secunderabad which comes days after the massive meeting held by the BJP to woo voters of the Backward Classes (BC).

For more than three decades, the MRPS has advocated for quota sub-categorization for Scheduled Caste communities. Madigas are a significant component of Telangana’s Scheduled Castes (SC). The community has historically been relegated to work as leather workers and manual scavengers.

Modi lauds MRPS chief

While lauding Manda Krishna Madiga’s efforts for the causes of the Dalit community for decades, Modi remarked that he will join the former in fighting for Dalit rights. The Prime Minister also addressed Krishna as his ‘younger brother’.

“As a Prime Minister, I will work under the leadership of MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga to fight against the wrongdoings of political parties against Dalits in Telangana,” Modi said.

Political parties should apologise: Modi

He said all the political parties and leaders, who have deceived Dalit communities with false promises since independence, owe them an apology.

“As a politician myself, I seek forgiveness on their behalf and am here to atone for the wrongs done to you,” said the PM.

According to the 2011 census, there were around 54 lakh Dalits in the state comprising about 15.5 percent of the state’s population. Of the total population of Dalits, Madigas form about 60 percent, enough to decide winning candidates in about 20-25 constituencies.

Modi slams BRS

Further, Modi criticized the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government for failing to protect the interests of Telangana’s Backward Classes (BC).

He spoke about the unfulfilled promises made to the Dalits during the Telangana agitation, specifically of the BRS’ promise to appoint a leader from the Dalit community as the state’s first chief minister.

“During Telangana agitation, you (Dalits) were promised that they will make Dalit the first chief minister of Telangana.. now corrupt BRS is reserving Dalit Bandhu scheme for its family members. Even the court questioned Dalit Bandhu’s allocations,” the PM said.

He accused both Congress and BRS of engaging in “corruption and deceit”, particularly highlighting the alleged collaboration in the Delhi Excise liquor policy scam.

“States co-operate with other states to discuss and better implement schemes. But, BRS co-operated with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi, working closely with Congress to come up with a multi-crore Delhi Excise liquor policy scam,” he said.

Highlighting the party’s efforts, Modi mentioned, “Stand up India scheme, has been helping SC and ST community. The Mudra Scheme is also helping backward communities. In the last 9 years, over 13 lakh students were given 1,000 Crore worth of scholarship.”

Telangana is going to the polls on November 30.