Karnataka Congress has decided to hold a ‘Ikyata’ rally for Dalits and backward classes in the state next month to ensure consolidation of the traditional vote bank of the party ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled later next year.
Senior Dalit leader and former state Congress President G. Parameshwara announced on Wednesday that the convention for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will held on January 8, 2023.
There are 101 sub-castes in Scheduled Castes and 57 sub-groups in Scheduled Tribes in Karnataka. The rally is an attempt to bring them together under one forum, he said.
“Attempts are being made to break the unity of the oppressed classes. Both the communities account for 24.1 per cent of the population in Karnataka. There are about 1.6 crore people belonging to SC and ST communities,” Parameshwara said.
The oppressed classes have shown their loyalty to the Congress, both prior to and post-Independence. The party has made attempts to implement measures for their upliftment, he said.
“Today, other parties are trying to woo them back into their fold. But no party did anything for their welfare. The leaders who did not even put up the photograph of B.R. Ambedkar in their offices are today visiting Dalit families and eating food brought from hotels, posing as if they are having food at Dalit’s houses,” Parameshwara said.
“Through this convention, we will send out a storng message to the SC and ST communities that the Congress party is always there for them,” he said.
The convention will be held at Chitradurga city, in which AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge will also participate.
“We are requesting any one among Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Wadra Gandhi to participate,” Parameshwara said.
The party is looking at a gathering of five lakh people during the convention.