SC, ST, Christians form forum to demand dalit CM
Yudhvir Rana, TNN | Dec 18, 2011, 07.15AM IST
AMRITSAR: A joint forum of schedule castes (SC), schedule tribes (ST)
and Christians have formed a body called SCST and Christian Forum
ahead of assembly elections in the state.
The forum has decided to approach SC/ST MLAs and leaders of the state,
irrespective of their political affiliations, to persuade them to
consolidate their strength and press for a SC/ST chief minister after
assembly elections. The decision was taken at the maiden meeting of
the forum held on Saturday under the chairmanship of advocate Iqbal
Singh Bhagowalia, president of the forum, highlighting the need for a
joint forum of dalits and Christians. Bhagowalia said no political
party was sincere about development/upliftment of SC/ST, Christians,
poor and downtrodden people of the state.
Coordinator of the forum, Daniel Masih, said there were about 35% and
2% population of SC/ST and Christians respectively in the state. SAD,
Congress and BJP had 15, 8 and 5 MLAs respectively from this segment,
he said. "We are approaching all these MLAs and will tell them to
impress upon their parties for appointment of a SC/ST chief minister,"
He said the forum had also decided to form a youth wing that would
travel in SC/ST and Christian dominated areas and ask them to put
forth their demands when political leaders would come asking for
Another leader of the forum, Chander Parkash, said they wanted
reservation for Christian candidates besides fielding SC/SC candidates
on at least 10% seats from general quota.
Daniel said they would also submit representations to presidents of
both SAD and Congress regarding their demands.
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