Congress misleading on Ambedkar memorial, Thackeray warns Dalits
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Monday asked Dalits not to get "misled" by
the central government's assurance that the Indu Mills land in
south-central Mumbai would be allotted for a memorial for B.R.
In a front-page statement in the party mouthpiece Saamna, party chief
Bal Thackeray said it "was just another carrot dangled by the
Congress" to secure Dalit votes in the forthcoming municipal
"Our Dalit brothers should not get over-enthusiastic by the Congress's
assurance that the centre has agreed 'in principle' to allot the (12.5
acres) Indu Mills land for the memorial," Thackeray said.
He pointed out that the Congress's game lies in the words 'in
principle' and it may or may not materialise since it is designed only
to capture Dalit votes.
"With elections round the corner, the Congress has started doling out
many such assurances as it is desperate for votes," Thackeray said.
Recounting the assurances made by the government in the past few
months, the aging leader said mill workers have been promised free
homes, slum dweller have been promised regularisation of all slums
that came up till 2000, Muslim reservations were announced recently
and now the assurance of Indu Mills land.
Thackeray appealed to the Dalits not to get lured by the assurances
and ensure the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-Republican Party of
India alliance is voted to power.
The statement comes in the wake of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's
meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh in Delhi last week on the Indu Mills land, which
belongs to the centre.
After the meeting, Chavan announced the prime minister had agreed 'in
principle' to give the mill land for the Ambedkar memorial.
The Indu Mill has been in the news since nearly a month after some
Dalit activists 'captured' the land and vacated it last week following
intervention by state Home Minister R.R. Patil.
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