In a development, which can impact the fluid political situation in Andhra Pradesh to a great extent, an influential Dalit organization Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti, has decided to join the opposition' Grand Alliance led by the Telugu Desam party.
The MRPS, which represents the biggest Dalit sub caste of Madiga in the state and has been fighting for the categorization of Dalits in to four groups for the last two decades, took the decision in its executive committee meeting on Sunday.
MRPS president and a firebrand leader Manda Krishna Madiga told the media that he was convinced that only the Grand Alliance can defeat the Congress party. The GA includes TDP, Telanagana Rashtriya Samiti, Communist Party of India and CPM.
"We also feel that this a historic opportunity for the MRPS to enter the state assembly and Lok Sabha to raise its voice for Dalits", he said. Manda Krishna said that MRPS had vowed to defeat the Congress in this election as the Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had betrayed the people's faith. "In 2004 elections he promised that constitutional amendment bill will be passed in Parliament to implement the categorization of dalits in to four groups. But nothing was done and Madigas were left high and dry".
Instead of merely extending the support to other parties, the MRPS this time wants to contest the elections. It has demanded 30 assembly and four Lok Sabha seats. Manda said that MRPS wants to fight for all the poor and the weaker sections.
The Madigas are numerically the biggest sub caste in the 1.23 crore Dalit population in the state. The MRPS has been demanding the categorization of Dalit sub castes in accordance with their proportion in population and accordingly distribute the benefits of reservation quota. MRPS alleges that Mala, numerically second biggest group has cornered most the reservation benefits in education and jobs subjecting the Madigas to injustice and oppression. It is estimated that the population of Madigas was around 70 lakhs and Malas' was 40 lakhs.