New Delhi, Dec 27 (UNI) Union Steel and Fertiliser Minister and Chairman of the Dalit and Minorities International Forum (DMIF) Ram Vilas Paswan today announced that the next DMIF conference will be held in New York in July 2008.
Addressing mediapersons here, Mr Paswan said the decision was taken during the Executive Committee's meeting last night that the conference would be held from July 4 to 6 next year in the United States. It was also decided that the subsequent meeting would be held in UK in 2010.
Earlier to the next year's meet, at least six state conferences would be organised in different parts of the country where delegates for the international conference would be chosen. The conferences would be aimed at more interaction and cooperation among the Dalits and the minorities which constitute more than 40 per cent population of the country.
Reiterating his demand for reservation for the minorities, he said, ''The minorities are in the same proportion to the Dalits which has been acknowledged by the Sachar Committee.'' He pointed out that the minorities were already getting reservation in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and wondered on what basis they were getting it.
He said they would also demand for reservation for the Blacks in the US during the conference. ''We have Black representatives too and we will fight for them there as the Blacks and the Whites do not even congregate together in the evenings in the West.'' When asked for the reason behind holding the conference abroad on issues which largely related to India, Mr Paswan asserted that the international community had a definite impact on such issues.
On the results of the Gujarat Assembly elections, Mr Paswan said, Mr ''Narendra Modi's victory in the Gujarat polls was a threat to the integrity of the nation.'' He said the DMIF meeting had also expressed concern over the situation and asserted that all secular and democratic forces of the country should join hands for the cause of secularism. The Forum particularly called for unity among the Dalits, minorities, backward and weaker sections against communalism as they were the most vulnerable during riots.
The LJP leader also criticised the attacks on Christians in Orissa and urged the Union and state governments to bring the guilty to book and ensure that such incidents would not recur.