NEW DELHI

Udit Raj floats new party

NEW DELHI NOV. 24. After months of speculations, the chairman of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, Udit Raj, today floated a political organisation - "Justice Party'' -- to fight for equal rights and empowerment of Dalits besides "securing social, economic and political justice to all countrymen''.

Addressing a moderate crowd drawn from all over the country to participate in a rally in the Capital demanding reservation in private sector, Mr. Raj announced his resignation from the post of the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax to "devote himself for the cause of Dalits, oppressed classes and minorities and fight for their rights''.

``The formation of party was necessary for the nation's reconstruction and integration of the marginalised people into the national mainstream. Our organisations which are socio- religious in nature have certain limitations. So formation of political party had become imperative to fight for the rights of Dalits and minorities,'' he asserted.

Claiming that the formation of his party would change the direction of Indian politics and have far reaching effects, Mr. Raj said Dalits were not just Hindus but were in Muslim, Sikh and Christian minority communities who also needed support from the system. "My party will try to bring all Dalits together and fight to rehabilitate them in our socio-political system.''

Demanding reservation in private sector besides implementation of quota policy in higher judiciary, armed forces and the State assemblies and Parliament, Mr. Raj said it was the reservation policy that had helped in Dalits' progress. "But now the Government through its policies of privatisation, globalisation and disinvestment is responsible for shrinking of public sector, thus killing reservation.''

Stating that the only way to safeguard their right to reservation was to ensure jobs in private sector, Mr. Raj asked the Government to abolish the Disinvestment Ministry and sack its Minister, Arun Shourie, who was misleading the Government as well as people in the name of disinvestment.

Citing example of Argentina where globalisation and privation has created havoc in its economic and financial sector, the Confederation chief said what was suitable for West could not be necessarily fit for India as their problems and requirements were different.

Rejecting Mr. Shourie claim that money collected from disinvestment was necessary to boost country's economy, Mr. Raj asked the Government to come down heavily on businessmen and industrialists who owe around Rs.1 lakh crores as debt to banks and financial institutions.

``Moreover, if we collect income tax, excise and sales tax properly, the Government will have around Rs. 2 lakh crores extra at its disposal, enough to meet all demands. Disinvestment will only make country poor and financially weak,'' he claimed.

Urging Dalit officers and employees to come forward in large numbers to help and assist oppressed and backward people, Mr. Raj stressed the need for upper caste people joining their struggle. "White people in America are fighting for the rights of their Black counterparts, so why cannot upper caste people come forward in support of Dalits''