Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale Saturday demanded reservations for SCs and STs in the Indian cricket team.
The Republican Party of India faction leader was addressing mediapersons in the city after returning from the special GST session of Parliament in New Delhi. Athawale, who has demanded a probe into India’s defeat by Pakistan in the Champions Trophy, said, “India had earlier in the tournament defeated the same Pakistani team. But the loss in the final left every Indian wondering if the match was fixed. The BCCI should investigate the matter and clear all doubts.”
He observed, “Perhaps reservation for SC, ST in the team would have ensured better performance. What’s the harm in giving 25% reservation to these two categories.” He added that players from the two castes would be encouraged to do even better if they get a chance to play for India.
Athawale also spoke against the beef ban law. “Cow slaughter ban to respect sentiments of Hindus is fine, but there is need to amend the law. Old and useless bulls and cows are a liability to farmers, who can make some money selling them to those who make a living on their hides. Also the man-slaughter by gaurakshaks should not be allowed to go on,” he added.
Athawale praised GST as the best thing that could happen in the country. “It will bring economic freedom to the have nots and fulfill the dream that Babasaheb Ambedkar saw of bringing equality in society,” he said.
Athawale also announced his party’s plan to organise protests on August 15 to press for statehood for Vidarbha. “I will also meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to appeal to them to help create Vidarbha state,” Athawale said.