Miffed BCs up in arms

Miffed BCs up in arms
Highlights

On Tuesday, the day dawned with protests by yet another group this time the Backward Classes who are crying foul over the gross injustice meted out to them by the Congress in allotment of tickets The first list which was released on late Monday night, had 65 names in it but of them BC were only 13, which fuelled passions among them

Hyderabad: On Tuesday, the day dawned with protests by yet another group - this time the Backward Classes - who are crying foul over the gross injustice meted out to them by the Congress in allotment of tickets. The first list which was released on late Monday night, had 65 names in it but of them BC were only 13, which fuelled passions among them.

Cut to the quick by the short shrift given to the BCs by the Congress, All India BC Welfare Association president R Krishnaiah called Telangana state bandh on November 17 to focus the attention of the people on how the BCs were being used as doormats by political parties for feathering their own nests.

An angry Krishnaiah said that the leaders of the parties when it came to allotment of tickets were reducing the BCs into beggars by not allowing them a share in political power. They want the BCs to remain faithful and grateful to them for freebies offered to them.

“We are more than 50 per cent of the population of the state. During the last 71 years of Independence, the BCs continue to be at the receiving end. They are now beggars waiting for the munificence in offering benefits by the upper castes," Krishnaiah said, adding that unhappy over the upper castes who are powerful politically and financially for riding roughshod over the BCs. The BC leaders point out that it was not just the Congress that had letdown the BCs but other parties too.

The TRS has announced candidates for 107 seats but of them BCs were only 22. The Congress, in its first list of 65 names, has given tickets only to 13 BCs. The BJP has come out with its list for 66 names but of them BCs were only 14, a BC leader Srinivas Goud said.

Congress BC leader Sravan Dasoji said he views the problem in a different perspective. He said that in the Congress, an attempt has been made to empower the BCs. "Congress president Rahul Gandhi had constituted BC Empowerment Committee which, in fact, had visited the assembly constituencies and submitted a list of the BC leaders who could win the elections. This is a step in right direction," he said.

The other BC leaders are unhappy over the Congress becoming Reddy centric. "Reddys are only five per cent of the population but look at the number of tickets that went to them in all the parties. In TRS, of the 107, 36 seats went to Reddys, in Congress, of the 65 seats, 23 went to Reddys and in BJP, of the 66 seats, 24 went to the Reddys. Even in the TDP, of the nine names announced of the 14 seats it is contesting, the BCs were only two and in TJS, of the six names that came out only one is a BC. The TJS has been allotted eight seats by the Congress.

The BCs demand that the parties should allot a major share of the seats for which they are yet to make annoucnemnt, to the BCs since they happen to be more than half of the population. They say that the freebies like the cattle or sheep would not work anymore but whichever government comes, should take up schemes that would empower the BCs. Said Sravan Dasoji: “The TRS government wound up fee reimbursement scheme.

It is a scheme tailormade for the BCs. It helps the BCs get better education and better jobs. This is how they should emerge in society one day. Even if a party gives representation to BCs, unless they are otherwise empowered, they would remain puppets in the hands of the rulers.

The BC ministers, like Jogu Ramanna or Srinivas Yadav have no say in decision making." He however does not make any comment on too few seats going to the BCs in the Congress. "I cannot comment on it but the bigger picture is that the BCs should be empowered politically and educationally. That is what we are aiming at," he said.

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