Other States

Poll strategy: Ambedkar targets fishing community, OBC voters

Call to action: Prakash Ambedkar (right) addresses a press conference in Mumbai on Sunday.

Call to action: Prakash Ambedkar (right) addresses a press conference in Mumbai on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

To hold conference on OBC reservation; seeks high compensation for fisherfolk

Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) president Prakash Ambedkar on Sunday announced to hold a conference on the OBC reservation in the city, and gave a son-of-the-soil call on the lines of the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. This is being seen as Mr. Ambedkar’s bid to woo the fishing community and the OBC voters.

“The agri, koli, bhandari and east Indian population in Mumbai have over 200 gaothans. They are the original inhabitants, and should get property cards along with the right to self-development. The fisherfolk, who are going to be affected by projects such as coastal road, Nhava Sheva, sea link, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea, must get four times the compensation offered under the 2013 land acquisition Act,” he said.

Mr. Ambedkar said, “The government is planning to implement slum rehabilitation projects in gaothan areas despite the fact that it is not allowed. This is nothing but an attempt to throw original residents of the city out.”

The BBM leader said 30% reservation should be given to the fisherfolk in the Navy, marine tourism industry, and the sea trade. He also demanded interest-free loan up to ₹3 crore along with state-of-the-art ports and ships for the fishing community and a marine university.

Mr. Ambedkar has formed an alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM to contest the general elections in Maharashtra. The alliance threatens to harm the interest of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party by dividing anti-BJP votes.

When asked about whether the Congress has made any proposal for the seat sharing, Mr. Ambedkar said the ball is in the Congress’ court. “We are not going to indulge in dialogue with the Congress until they give us a plan on how to bring the RSS under constitutional scrutiny,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 1:43:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/poll-strategy-ambedkar-targets-fishing-community-obc-voters/article26231583.ece

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