Mumbai: Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday called on the Dalit leaders to join hands with his party to challenge the alliance of Shiv Sena-BJP and the Ramdas Athawale-led Republican Party of India.
Dalit leaders in the state must come together and join hands with the Nationalist Congress Party and fight for their issues, he said Addressing a huge gathering at the Dalit Bahujan Chetna conference, organised by the Panthers Republican Party (PRP).
Eyeing the 2014 Lok Sabha and state assembly polls, he said people from the Ambedkarite movement must remain with the NCP.
PRP president and former minister in the Maharashtra government, Gangadhar Gade gave a charter of Dalit demands to Pawar, which he directed state NCP president Madhukar Pichad and Minister of State for Housing Sachin Ahir to look into.
Pichad and Ahir should take up these issues with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and see to it that the 11 demands presented by them are looked into, he said. Pawar however, refrained from taking any potshots at Congress or against the opposition Shiv Sena-BJP.