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Minister Ramdas Athawale Moots Quota for Dalits in Cricket Team

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday advocated a quota in the Indian cricket team for Dalits.

Swati Vashishtha | CNN-News18swativashishtha

Updated:January 3, 2017, 8:47 PM IST
Minister Ramdas Athawale Moots Quota for Dalits in Cricket Team
File photo of Union Minister Ramdas Athawale.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday asked for quota in the Indian cricket team for Dalits.

Athawale said, "A Dalit quota will amount to more wins for the cricket team," adding, "The team loses on many occasions and to make them win, there should be a quota for the Dalits."

Athawale, however, likened India's performance under the captaincy of Virat Kohli to PM Modi's performance.

"At the moment, Virat Kohli's team is in good form as PM Modi's team," he said.

Reacting to Athawale's demand, Congress leader Panna Lal Punia said: "BJP has again made an irresponsible statement. The reservation cannot guarantee a place for a Dalit or an SC/ST in the Indian Cricket team. They must be given a chance for training and practice, but the end selection must happen only on the basis of merit."

"See reservation for MBBS does not guarantee that you become a doctor, it only gives you a chance to learn and get the training, the final induction will depend on your performance," he added.

"We have always demanded for representation of SCs, STs and the backward classes in not only cricket but all other sports. Athawale may be demanding for political purposes but when there is representation there is no question for reservation.

The representation of the weaker sections has to be at various levels of the sporting community and not only be limited to one community.

In cricket there are 12 members, and out of that if one or two are from the deprived section then there is no harm. Scope must be given to nurture them, after all we form 25% of the population," said Jesudasu Seelam, Congress leader and the Ex Secretary general of SC-ST MPs Forum.

BJP MP Udit Raj had earlier demanded reservation for Dalits in sports, including in the national cricket team. “We demand Dalit reservation in all sports,” he had tweeted.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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