Under the banner of the All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, a number of Dalits and tribals took out a rally from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar here on Monday demanding that members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and minorities be given reservation in the Lokpal Committee.
Addressing the rally, Confederation chairman Udit Raj said he was for a strong Lokpal Bill. Expressing confidence that the Lokpal Bill would be enacted, Dr. Raj said: “If the Dalits, tribal folks, OBCs and minorities are alienated from the beginning, even if we get a strong Lokpal, chances are there it may fail because of lack of cooperation from all sections of society. Though India is known to be a melting pot of different nationalities, cultures and traditions, caste has not melted up till now. Against this background, it is necessary to provide reservation to the SC/ST/OBC and minorities in the Lokpal Committee. Their exclusion will lead to discrimination at the level of investigation and prosecution in matters of corruption.”
Informing that the Confederation had already submitted the Bahujan Lokpal Bill before the Standing Committee of Parliament, Dr. Raj said it has advocated inclusion of non-government organisations and corporate houses within the ambit of the Lokpal. “Enormous amount of funds are allocated through special component plans for the SCs and sub-tribal plans for the STs. However, due to corruption and malpractices, amelioration of these communities has not been achieved. The Government must address these genuine demands before the Lokpal Bill is passed in the current Parliament session.”
Office-bearers of the Confederation from across the country addressed the rally.