Ramdas Athawale, the minister of state for social justice and empowerment wants to meet with the US President, Donald Trump. According to Indian Express, the minister is traveling to the United State in the second week of April for attending a United Nations function commemorating the 126th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar there. He is very hopeful of meeting with the President of the largest democracy in the world and the most the powerful country. However, the question is why would the US President be interested in meeting an Indian MP?
Athavale is hopeful because he thinks he heads the Republican Party of India and Donald Trump also belongs to the Republican Party of America. Both are Republicans so according to Athawale it makes his case strong for meeting with Donald Trump. It’s the same Mr Athawale who courted controversy when he demanded firearms for Dalits for self-defence in the backdrop of suicide by a Dalit research scholar in Hyderabad University.
Ramdas Athawale is a Dalit leader from Maharashtra and is very well known for his comic sense of humor. His induction into the Modi government is part of BJP’s endeavor to reach out to the politically crucial segment ahead of elections to five States.
It’s the same Mr Athawale who courted controversy when he demanded firearms for Dalits for self-defence in the backdrop of suicide by a Dalit research scholar in Hyderabad University.
Mr. Athawale, who heads the Republican Party of India (Athawale), an NDA ally, has been a trade unionist and is known more for his blunt remarks and popular laughter-evoking speeches both inside and outside the Parliament.
He has been part of NDA since 2011 after he quit the NCP-Congress alliance. He currently represents Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha and has been a three-time Lok Sabha member.
The RPI(A) leader had last represented Mumbai North Central constituency in the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009, having been first elected to the lower House in 1998. Mr. Athawale had been openly seeking a berth in the Union government for quite some time. His induction came at a time when the BJP has laid claim to the legacy of Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar.
Calling himself “the fearless panther of India”, the 56-year-old leader claims to have led the ‘Dalit Panther Movement’, a social movement for equality, justice and human rights world-wide. Mr. Athawale also edited ‘Bhumika’, a weekly magazine in Mumbai, and has been a publisher for Parivartan Publications.