Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray dated 14 December, reminding him of his commitment towards Dalits and Adivasis in the Common Minimum Programme of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi is a state-level coalition between the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Gandhi urged the CM to implement the Common Minimum Programme and stand by the marginalised sections of society.
In the letter, she wrote “The budget allocation for the development of SC/ST communities should be proportionate to their share in the population.” Adding that “there should be legislative backing to utilise funds allocated during the same financial year”, she exampled the laws enacted by the Congress in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
“If the Congress party has brought forward an agenda which is in the interest of the people of Maharashtra and the state, then, it should be welcomed. There is no pressure politics,” said Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, reported ANI.
She also brought up stimulating entrepreneurship in SC/ST communities and the introduction of reservation in government contracts and projects for enterprises promoted by SC/ST professionals.
Again, the letter referred to Congress’ initiatives regarding the same at the Centre and state-governments like Karnataka.
Gandhi also raised the issue of rapid recruitment drives for filling up backing vacancies in a time-bound manner for posts already reserved for SCs and STs in different departments.
Among other issues, Gandhi wrote of the need for technical education training and skill development of SC/ST youth, which, according to her, should receive the highest priority, and the expansion of scholarship schemes, hostel facilities and residential schools.