HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao's hour-long speech while launching Dalit Bandhu in Huzurabad on Monday triggered a debate in political circles about his attempts to take dalit issues and the scheme to the centre-stage of national politics.
Rao said that he would invite Dalit leaders and intellectuals from different states and hold a workshop on measures to be taken to make them socially and economically stronger.
Rao, who usually ends all his speeches with "Jai Telangana", raised "Jai Bhim", "Jai Hind" slogans triggering speculations of his national moves in the coming days. He also raised the “Jai Bheem” slogan at the conclusion of the meeting.
The said the success of Dalit Bandhu will ignite similar demands from Dalits in other states, who would want to know why their state cannot do if Telangana could achieve it.
"Dalit Bandhu is not a scheme that I have launched today. I have launched a movement for empowerment of Dalits. I launched this in Karimnagar district from where I had launched Telangana statehood agitation in 2001. I am sure Dalit Bandhu will become a success and spread to other states where people would demand Dalit Bandhu," Rao remarked.
The Chief Minister stated that his mission will not end with the launch of the scheme. He will soon hold workshops with government and private employees, intellectuals and prominent leaders from Dalits from other states and seek their suggestions, feedback on what more should be done to improve their social and economic conditions.
There is a debate in political circles that the Dalit population constitutes over 20 crore in India as per the 2011 Census with most belonging to Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Tamil Nadu. By taking up Dalit issues and Dalit Bandhu scheme, he can garner the support of dalits at the national level.
Rao's earlier attempts to create an impact on national politics by forging a Federal Front against BJP and Congress early 2018 and 2019 just before Lok Sabha polls came a cropper. He later announced a conclave of non-BJP parties in Hyderabad during last year’s GHMC polls, which also did not take off.