Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale had a harrowing time in Guwahati on Tuesday. Athawale called for a press meet at Guwahati Circuit House sans a proper agenda and was grilled by the mediapersons. Later, he faced even worse while inaugurating the office of Republican Party of India (RPI) at Beltola as he was chased by the public.
Dalit leader from Maharashtra, Athawale is the founder-leader of Republican Party of India (Ambedkarite). However, when he came to inaugurate his party office at Beltola, he found Kasem Ali, general secretary of the state unit of his party, has duped several people by promising them jobs. Ali had siphoned almost Rs 30 lakhs from various people by promising them to give jobs. He had even provided them fake appointment letters and identity cards.
The victims had filed FIR at Chapor police station in Dhubri but Ali couldn’t be traced. Now, when these people came to know that Ramdas Athawale, the national supremo of RPI (A) is in Guwahati, they chased him. Athawale was escorted out of the tricky situation by his guards.
Prior to that, in a press meet at Circuit House, Athawale said, “I had a meeting with state government officials and various other organizations like BSNL, Airport Authority of India (AAI), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL). I was informed about the recruitment and backlog of SC and ST candidates.”
Athawale informed that for the SC, there is a backlog of around 3000 candidates and for ST, there is backlog of 8922 candidates which will be filled up within one year. In BSNL, there is backlog of 8 candidates in SC and 13 candidates in ST. For AAI, backlog of SC candidates is nil but there is a backlog of 4 candidates for ST. HPCL and BPCL have got zero backlog.
The minister was grilled by mediapersons for the lack of any definite approach for Assam. When a journalist pointed out that sweepers are still addressed by the derogatory term ‘Bhangi’ and are also provided certificate by that name, Athawale said the sweepers should be addressed as ‘Valmiki’ and he would take up the issue with the officers concerned. Mediapersons also asked him not to call for press meets unless he has something definite to say.