Clamour for reserved tickets overshadows core Dalit issues
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Dalits are at the centre of much of Gujarat's politics but activists say their core issues have remained neglected over the years, whichever the party in power. In the run-up to the elections so far, the distribution of tickets and defection shave been dominating Dalit politics so far, at least in the Congress. On September 22, police fired on agitating Dalits in Thangadh town of Surendranagar, allegedly with AK-47s, killing three youths. On November 26, Congress leader Girish Parmar,a Dalit, linked the incident with the state government's alleged failure to take up Dalit issues and declared that the Congress, when in power,had looked after Dalits' welfare. Two days later, Parmar was filing his nomination as a BJP candidate from DaniLimda.He and three others resigned from the Congress after it had nominated Shailesh Parmar. Also, a group of Dalit Congress workers ransacked Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan in Ahmedabad following reports that retired IPS officer Rajan Priyadarshi would be fielded from the reserved Asarwa constituency. The ticket eventually went to another Dalit.
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