Thackeray cautions Dalits against Congress

Mumbai: Reacting to the Centre`s decision to give an in-principle mod to hand-over of Indu Mill land here for a memorial of Dr B R Ambedkar, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today said Dalits should not fall prey to the Congress`s "tactics".

"The Congress-led government has resorted to this strategy of giving the Indu mill land for construction of Ambedkar`s memorial to win Dalits votes in the municipal corporation elections," Thackeray said in a statement in the party mouthpiece `Samanna`. Municipal polls in Mumbai, where Sena-BJP alliance is in power, are scheduled next month.

Advising Dalits to be cautious, Thackeray said they should trounce Congress and bring the (recently formed) Shiv Shakti-Bhim Shakti (Sena-BJP-RPI combine) to power in the elections. "Dalits should not fall prey to the assurances from the Congress," he said. He pointed out that there was an air of uncertainty about the word `in-principle`.

Following an agitation by Dalit outfits, the Centre, on Saturday, agreed in principle to give 12.5 acres of Indu Mills land in Mumbai`s Dadar area to the Maharashtra Government for Ambedkar memorial. An assurance to this effect was given by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to an all-party delegation from Maharashtra, led by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.