Staff Reporter

Kochi: A joint meeting of various Dalit organisations has demanded reservation of seats in Rajya Sabha for Dalit members.

At a press conference here on Saturday, the leaders of the Dalit organisations said that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) should put pressure on the Central Government to amend the Constitution for providing reservation of seats in Rajya Sabha for Dalits.

They said that of the 93 persons elected to Rajya Sabha in the last six decades from Kerala, only three persons belonged to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities. They demanded that the UDF and LDF should put up Dalit candidates for the elections to the two Rajya Sabha seats from Kerala.

Staff Reporter adds from Kottayam: The Dalit Students Movement (DSM) has called for electing Dalits and women to the vacancies from Kerala to the Rajya Sabha. In a press release, O.K. Santhosh, secretary, said that out of the 93 persons who had entered the Upper House during the past half a century from Kerala, only two were women and three Dalits. This is clear evidence that discrimination based on caste was still prevalent in the State, he said.