Staff Reporter

To address interests of Dalits, slum dwellers and labourers

  • Morcha to focus on providing wheat at Rs.2.5 per kg and rice at Rs.3.5 per kg to slum dwellers
  • `Farmers should have a share in the sale of farmland acquired by the Government'

    NEW DELHI: A joint front or "morcha'' of Dalits, Other Backward Classes and slum dwellers has been formed by the Indian Justice Party (IJP) to contest the forthcoming municipal elections in the Capital.

    Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, IJP president Udit Raj said only two major political parties -- the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party -- had ruled in Delhi and despite their claims of being different from each other they only served the interests of capitalists, bureaucrats, businessmen and rich people. "Therefore, it had become absolutely essential to form a front like the morcha so that the interests of Dalits, slum dwellers and labourers were addressed in right earnest," said Dr. Raj.

    The main issues which the morcha would raise in the municipal elections are providing wheat at Rs.2.5 per kg and rice at Rs.3.5 per kg to slum dwellers, their rehabilitation by providing them alternative plots of 25 square yards in cases of demolition, ensuring minimum wage to workers in factories, ending contract system in cleaning work, allotment of plots to street vendors (rehri-patriwallahs) and ensuring that rickshaws are not banned in the Capital as that would affect livelihoods of many.

    The morcha will also rally for equal rights on residential and commercial land for the poor and Dalits and in proportion to their population. Full Statehood for Delhi and water and power for all at concessional rates are other issues that the Morcha would raise.

    Dr. Raj said farmers should have a share in the sale of farmland acquired by the Government that is usually sold later at a high premium. He added that the issues of filling up vacant posts in Government offices, enactment of a law to ensure that reservation rules are strictly followed, and full benefits of reservation for Dalits and tribals from other States living in Delhi would also be raised in the municipal elections by the morcha.

    Poorvanchal Kranti Dal, National Valmiki Veer Dal, Loktantrik Samajwadi Party and All-India Gurjar Mahasabha have expressed their support for the morcha. The leaders of these parties said that the morcha would become a great force in the electoral arena after the Congress and the BJP.

    The other groups who have expressed their willingness to join the morcha are Bharatiya Dalit Samaj, Delhi Vikas Manav Forum, Delhi Jhuggi Jhopri Ekta Manch, Delhi Hawkers' Basic Rights Protection Forum, Hawkers' Right Protection Samiti, All-India Rehri-Patri Mahasangh and All-India National Saini Mahasabha, said Dr. Raj.