"We (dalits) are taken into account only for voting purpose. Vote is ours, power is for someone else. We should also be considered for minister's, deputy chief minister's and chief minister's post. Only token representation like two ministers for left wing, two for right wing and one for centre wing dalits will not do," a frustrated Parameshwara said while addressing the party workers' meet organized by the Scheduled Caste (SC) wing of the state Congress.
Such was the aggressiveness that Parameshwara, differed from Union railway minister Mallikarjun M Kharge, a fellow dalit leader, when later stressed for reservations according to the population. While Kharge said state government should make efforts to pave way for reservations according to the dalit population in the state, Parameshwara said reservation will not do good, but the political representation at important positions should be given to dalits.
It's no secret that Parameshwara, one of the chief ministerial aspirant, after losing assembly elections in May 2013 is lobbying hard for deputy CM post under chief minister Siddaramaiah. The Congress high command recently gave nod for inclusion of senior MLAs D K Shiva Kumar and R Roshan Baig in the cabinet, but ignored Parameshwara's claim.
During an hour-long rhetoric, state Congress chief maintained that it was dalits who faced the bullets of the British during freedom struggle, while higher caste people stood behind and escaped from the scene.
Parameshwara was all praise for Siddaramaiah saying that the state has a chief minister, who is committed to the cause of dalits, backward classes, minorities and poor people from all sections. "Within half-an-hour of coming to power, the CM waived loans taken by poor sections of the society," he said. AICC general secretary and Congress in-charge in Karnataka Digvijaya Singh also told the same and asked other Congress ruled CMs to follow Karnataka model.
Parameshwara also demanded that government bring in legislations making reservations in private sectors mandatory.