BHUBANESWAR: In an attempt to emerge as the champion of dalits, tribals and minorities, senior Congress leader and chairman of the party’s manifesto committee in Odisha, Srikant Jena on Tuesday advised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to appoint three deputy Chief Ministers from these sections.
In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Jena criticised him for ignoring the rights of dalits and tribals by not facilitating their representation in Rajya Sabha and other forums.
The letter to the Chief Minister comes a week after Jena had written to president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik suggesting that Congress should announce in its manifesto for 2014 polls to select a CM and two deputy CMs from OBC/SEBC communities if voted to power.
Criticising the Chief Minister for such an attitude towards ‘social justice’, Jena said denying renomination to Dilip Tirkey for Rajya Sabha was part of this. He also referred to the resignation given by Bishnu Das from Rajya Sabha after directed by Naveen to do so.
Out of the 9 BJD Rajya Sabha MPs no one is a dalit, the Congress leader said and added that seven of them are from general community. Advising the Chief Minister not to take the dalits, who had voted for him till now, for granted because of their silence, Jena warned Naveen that strong resentment is brewing in the community which may come to the fore anytime.