Tamil Nadu

Announce seven Scheduled Castes as Devendrakula Vellalars immediately, says Alagiri

The Central and State governments should announce that seven Scheduled Castes in south Tamil Nadu will henceforth be identified as Devendrakula Vellalars, or get ready to face protests in the Assembly and Parliament, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri said.

“If this is not announced immediately, the Congress will protest in the Assembly and after discussions with the parties in the Secular Progressive Alliance, all the MPs from the alliance will raise the issue in Parliament as well. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t support this move, we warn that we will protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament,” he said.

Mr. Alagiri said the party has been supporting the demand of the seven Scheduled Castes -- Kudumbar, Pannadi, Kaaladi, Kadaiyar, Devendrakulathar, Pallar and Vadhiriyar -- to be grouped as Devendrakula Vellalar, for a long time.

He said in 2010, then Congress MLA Peter Alphonse put forth the demand in the Assembly and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi accepted the proposal and formed a one-man committee headed by Justice Janardhanan, who submitted a report that the proposal could be accepted. But within a few days, the Assembly election was announced and AIADMK leader late Jayalalithaa during the campaign trail, promised to fulfil the demand, he said. But this was put on the backburner once the AIADMK came to power, Mr. Alagiri said.

The Congress leader said that the State BJP had passed a resolution in 2012 supporting this demand, started a signature campaign to reach Home Minister Amit Shah and had taken Devendrakula Vellalar representatives to Delhi to meet Mr. Modi to press for the demand. “But the truth is that for the last six years, the BJP has not done anything for the community and is only trying to gain political mileage from this issue,” he said and criticised State BJP president L. Murugan’s statement a couple of days ago on the issue as “drama”.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 2:23:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/announce-seven-scheduled-castes-as-devendrakula-vellalars-immediately-says-alagiri/article32011799.ece

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