Dalit outfit to protest RPI's alliance with BJP-Shiv Sena

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Mumbai, May 29: The activists of Prajasatak Bharat, a dalit outfit, will embark on a week long ''padyatra'' in the slum pockets of Mumbai with dalit population against the Republican Party of India's (RPI) proposed alliance with Shiv Sena and BJP.

Founder president of the outfit, Amol Madane, told PTI that the ''padyatra'' will start in the first week of June and cover dalit slum pockets in the city and suburbs. The yatra will end at Ambedkar's memorial ''Chaityabhoomi'' in central Mumbai.

The ''padyatra'' will be called ''Nirdhar Padyatra'' and will be Mumbai specific since the RPI's alliance with Sena-BJP is being worked out with an eye on the Mumbai municipal corporation elections, he said.

The idea is to create awareness about the need for dalits to empower themselves by coming together and show unity rather than depending on others, Madane said.

"In Mumbai's 36 assembly segments, there are 13 to 14 constituencies where dalits can win if all of them vote for the candidate. Similarly, in other constituencies if a dalit candidate bags 15 per cent votes from Muslims and other communities, he can get elected. Mumbai has strong dalit pockets in all constituencies," he said.

Asked whether his outfit will contest the BMC polls, Madane said the decision would be taken based on the response his ''padyatra'' gets. "The purpose of our ''padyatra'' is to elicit views of the dalit community on their participation in decision making," he said.

Madane categorically asserted that his outfit did not have the backing of any political party.

He said if a dalit can become a mayor of Mumbai, why can't the community reach position of power on its own.

"If ''Bhimshakti'' can come to power in Uttar Pradesh on its own, why can't that happen in Maharashtra ?," he added.

PTI

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