Nashik, Jan 5 (UNI) Republican Party of India (RPI-Athawale) president Ramdas Athawale today said the party has organised the Golden Jubilee rally to bring the people of different caste and creed together.
''This is the drive undertaken by the RPI to bring all people together to eradicate the communal divide between Dalits and upper caste Hindus,'' Mr Athawale said in a public meeting organised to mark the beginning of the Golden Jubilee rally of the RPI here.
The rally will be flagged off from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's statue in the heart of the city tomorrow. It will move through all the districts of Maharashtra and conclude on February 17 with a huge gathering at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. It will traverse a distance of 10,000 km during the 40-day period.
Mr Athawale, in his address, demanded that the backward and dalit people should get share in power and budgetary allotment.
He also demanded that the rising prices of essential commodities be reined in and to pay attention to farmers' problems and growing unemployment amongst the youth.
Speaking on the occasion, State PWD Minister and Samata Parishad leader Chhagan Bhujbal extended his support to the rally and called it as an attempt to bring the backward and dalit communities together.
Mr Bhujbal, who is also a NCP leader, however, clarified that his support for the rally was not politically motivated, saying that his efforts for the OBC movement did not have anything against NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
It was Mr Pawar who, as chief minister, had courageously implemented the recommondations of the Mandal Commission in Maharashtra and it was he who renamed the Marathwada University as Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar University.
Minister of State for Housing and Slum Rehabilitation Advocate Preetamkumar Shegaonkar expressed hope that with support from Mr Bhujbal, the RPI can capture power in the state as well at the Centre.
He appealed the RPI activists to work for this.
UNI GB CS VP0040