Pune: Speaking at a press conference in the city on Sunday, State Minister for Land and Water Conservation, Ram Shinde, said that Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI), a government institute, has a ‘bias against the Dhangar community and that is the reason it gave unfavourable report on the Dhangar reservations.’
The minister said that on demand from Dhangar community, Tata Institute of Social Studies (TISS) was asked to make a report, which he thinks will ‘surely favour the Dhangar reservations.’
Shinde, who is known as a representative of the Dhangar community, was in the city to announce the commemoration ceremony for Ahilyadevi Holkar, a ruler from the Holkar family, who has become a symbol of the community. This is when he answered a question on the Dhangar community’s demand for reservations. “BARTI works for the tribals which is why the two reports that they provided were not in favour of the Dhangars,” he said.
The minister added that both the reports will be cross verified before the decision on reservations is made. Officials of BARTI were unavailable for a comment when contacted.
The minister also accepted that the government has not been able to deliver on the issues of the Dhangar community as expected. “The demand to rename the Solapur University after Ahilyabai Holkar has long been made. We accept that there has been a delay.”
About the Jalyukt Shivar campaign of the BJP government in the state, Shinde said, “Most of the designated works are nearing completion. Some 60 to 80 pc of the works have been fulfilled in time. The remaining 17-18 works which are going on currently will be completed by the end of this month.”