Special Correspondent

Sequel to Chief Minister's positive response to KVPS demands

HYDERABAD: CPI (M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu called off his five-day-old fast following positive response from the Government to the demands put forth by Kula Vivaksha Vyatireka Porata Sangham (KVPS) seeking justice for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

His decision came after Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy made a statement in the Assembly that the Government would constitute the SC/ST Commission before Dr. Ambedkar's birthday on April 14 and create a nodal agency to ensure effective utilisation of funds allocated for SCs and STs. Social Welfare Minister D.S. Redya Naik, who visited the hunger strike camp at Indira Park, offered lemon juice to Mr. Raghavulu.

The KVPS members took out an impressive rally earlier from Sundaraiah Park that culminated into a public meeting to mark the occasion. Addressing the gathering, Mr. Raghavulu wanted the Government to honour its commitment to the Assembly or else the agitation would be intensified.

KVPS would organise cycle rallies between April 5 and 14 in villages during which dalit youth would take up awareness campaign against practices like untouchability. This would be followed by occupation of assignment lands in possession of "rich and influential" by the CPI (M)-affiliated Vyavasaya Karmika Sangham from April-end to May.

The CPI (M), in association with its frontal organisations as well as civil society representatives and NGOs, would also launch protest programmes seeking scholarships to SCs and STs, improvement in the condition of social welfare hostels, waiver of power dues of dalit colonies and other issues.

Initiatives

Mr. Redya Naik explained the initiatives launched by the Government for dalits even as the crowd raised slogans demanding conduct of dalit bata. The Government had decided to conduct awareness programmes involving senior officials in deference to the request made by KVPS, he said.

Senior TDP leader T. Devender Goud alleged that the Government was trying to mislead the people with its assurances and said dalits should continue their struggle to ensure the implementation of the promises. CPI (M) floor leader in Assembly N. Narasimhaiah, CPI (ML-New Democracy) MLA Gummadi Narsaiah and others were present.

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