No dalit deputy CM may spell trouble for Congress’


Senior Congress leader G Parameshwara on Thursday cautioned the party’s central leadership that if a Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) post is not given to a Dalit, there would be adverse reaction and it would spell trouble for the party. The 71-year-old Parameshwara, a Dalit, was deputy chief minister during Congress-JD(S) coalition government led by H D Kumaraswamy. He was also the longest-serving Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief (eight years).
His veiled warning came hours after the Congress announced that Siddaramaiah would be chief minister and D K Shivakumar would be his only deputy. To a question about Shivakumar having allegedly put a condition to the leadership that he should be the only DCM, Parameshwara said, “What he has said might be right in Shivakumar’s point of view, but high command’s viewpoint should be different. High Command has to decide, we expect them (high command) to.”On whether injustice has been done to Dalits by not giving a DCM post to the community, he said the people, especially the Dalit community, have huge expectations. He said he was an aspirant for both the posts of CM and DCM. “I was both chief minister and deputy chief minister aspirant but now we have to abide by the decision of the high command, so let’s see what they will do in the days to come. For now they have made announcements about the two, we will have to wait and see how they will do justice during the cabinet expansion,” he said.
Responding to a question about “none of them” (Dalits) having asked for the DCM post with a strong voice, Parameshwara said a strong voice doesn’t mean shouting with a demand. “We have asked (for posts)… I hope the high command will pay attention to it, as people have voted for us and have contributed to Congress coming to power. We have to keep this in mind and move ahead,” he said.
Objecting to Shivakumar’s alleged demand that he alone should be DCM, he said, “One person alone should be in power, and others should not be. Everyone has contributed to the party’s coming to power. All communities have contributed, and naturally, justice should be done to them.” Pointing out that Dalits, Lingayats, and minorities have strongly stood by the Congress party in the polls, he said the Congress has won 35 out of 51 Dalit seats.
“Along with that, in two general seats, the community candidates have won, so it is totally 37. The Dalit votes have made an impact in several other segments,” he said.