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  Metros   Mumbai  17 May 2018  Prakash Ambedkar looks to woo Dhangars for his third front

Prakash Ambedkar looks to woo Dhangars for his third front

THE ASIAN AGE. | AMEY TIRODKAR
Published : May 17, 2018, 2:01 am IST
Updated : May 17, 2018, 2:01 am IST

Ambedkar has decided to extend a hand to the community.

Prakash Ambedkar
 Prakash Ambedkar

Mumbai: In his attempt to build the ‘Third Front’ for the upcoming 2019 elections, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar has started wooing the Dhangar community in the state. He will be holding a rally of the community at Pandharpur, Solapur on May 20. The Dhangar community has been demanding reservations under the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category for a long time.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had assured the community in its 2014 election manifesto that its demand for reservation would be met. But as the community has not been given reservation so far, Mr Ambedkar is hoping to woo it. The Dhangar community has been categorised as Nomadic Tribes (NT) in Maharashtra. But they have been demanding that they be categorised as ST for many years. The community has a decisive influence on almost 40 Assembly constituencies, particularly in Western Maharashtra and part of Marathwada. A few pockets in Vidarbha too have a strong influence of the Dhangars.

It was the community’s political importance, which had led the BJP to assure the community that it would get ST reservation in its manifesto in the 2014 assembly elections. The Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) and its leader Mahadev Jankar, who are vocal about the community’s interests had also joined the BJP-led coalition and later the state government. Mr Jankar is cabinet minister currently. But the BJP has so far failed to keep its promise and anger against it is simmering in the community.

Eyeing this opportunity, Mr Ambedkar has decided to extend a hand to the community. “The BJP government will never complete its assurance of reservation as it is a Manuvadi government. So we need to throw the BJP out of power,” said Mr Ambedkar. The Republican leader is attempting to build a third front and is trying to get dalits, muslims and smaller segments like the Dhangars on board.

Tags: prakash ambedkar, dhangar community
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)