Mumba: Focus on the welfare of Dalits and tribals: Sonia to Thackeray. Congress President Sonia Gandhi has written a letter to ally and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asking him to implement the Common Minimum Programme in the state ‘in letter and spirit,’ especially pertaining to the welfare of the Dalits and tribals. Focus on the welfare of Dalits and tribals: Sonia to Thackeray. Referring to suggestions she had received, Gandhi said that the budget allocation for the development of SC/ST communities should be in proportion to their share in the population with the focus on schemes that would help bring them on par with the rest of society at the earliest.
In her letter earlier this week, she also urged for legislative backing to utilize the funds allocated during the same financial year and recalled laws enacted by previous Congress governments in Karnataka and the undivided Andhra Pradesh.
With a view to stimulating entrepreneurship among SC/STs, Gandhi suggested introducing reservations in contracts and projects for enterprises promoted by the SC/STs, something that was done by the UPA Government at the Centre in the past as well as in Karnataka.
The Congress chief asked Thackeray to conduct rapid time-bound recruitment drives for filling up the backlog for the reserved SC/ST posts in various departments.
Stressing on the importance of education, technical training, and skill development as ‘crucial’ for SC/STs, Gandhi asked Thackeray to accord these “highest priority” besides expanding scholarship schemes, hostels, and residential schools for these communities.
“I am confident that under your leadership, the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government in the state will continue to implement our CMP in letter and spirit,” Gandhi concluded.
The MVA government comprises Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress, which joined hands to come to power on the basis of a CMP that was signed in Nov. 2019.