Muslim-Dalit Political Party Launched in Mumbai

A group of Muslims in Maharashtra have floated a new political party- Awami Vikas Party (AVP). Formally launched recently, the party is being presented as a “formidable” Muslim-Dalit alliance and an alternative to the Sena-BJP-MNS, Congress- NCP and SP. Former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Shamsher Khan Pathan, heads the party. “We shall strive to unite the Muslims and Dalits
and help them fight for their rights. Often, these two critical sections are suppressed by vested interests, but that will not happen anymore,” said Pathan. The party’s 12-member core committee comprises academicians, social activists, Urdu and Marathi journalists, retired cops, bureaucrats and other professionals who have declared no motives other than “service” to the community. Dalit leader Baban Kamble is the AVP vice-president. Both the leaders emphasised that their motto would be “80 percent service, 20 percent politics” and plans are on  the anvil to start AVP branches all over India and contest elections. Kamble, who edits the Marathi daily Samrat said, “We have been cheated. Dalits have been kept in the dark in the name of reservations, while Muslims have voted for the so-called secular  parties because they were promised protection. We will remove these facades.”

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