National Dalit Conference to bring community politicians together

To harness the electoral strength of the 16.5 per cent Dalit population, community leaders from across the political spectrum will gather in Mumbai Wednesday for a national conference.

The novel exercise will see Dalit leaders from BSP, Congress, LJP, BJP, NCP and RPI come together to discuss the way forward for the community.

"It is a meeting to review the economic and social status of the community and to plan a course that will empower it further," RPI president Ramdas Athawale said.

He claimed there was no political agenda to the meeting.

Other RPI leaders, however, said the conference was to discuss consolidation of votes to send a large number of Dalit representatives to Parliament.

"There will be discussions on how we can empower the community politically," one said.

Apart from Athawale, Ram Vilas Paswan of Lok Janshakti Party, BJP MP Ram Nath Kovind, senior BSP leader Veer Singh, Congress leader and Maharashtra ministers Nitin Raut and Laxaman Dhoble are expected to participate.

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