<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Minister of state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale made a controversial remark on Sunday when he stated that the instead of consuming country liquor, Dalit youths should join the Indian Army where they will get to drink rum.Athawale was advocating reservations for SC-ST community in the Indian army when he made the statement. Athawale was in Pune on Sunday where he interacted with media. Reiterating his earlier demand that SC-ST community should get reservation in the Indian army Athawale said, “While there are not many jobs available, the Dalit youth should join the Indian Army. Instead of staying unemployed and consuming country liquor, the youths can join the army where they will get rum to drink and good food to eat.” Praising the Dalits for their fighting spirit, Athawale added, “Dalits are known to be fighters and they can contribute towards bettering the Indian Army. There is a misconception that people joining the army die early. In reality, more people die in road accidents or due to heart attacks than while serving in the Army.” Athawale also spoke about the recent tragedy at Elphinstone railway station tragedy where 23 people lost their lives in a stampede where he demanded strong action against the guilty railway officials. “The tragedy has taken place due to the lethargic attitude of the railway officials. There should be a judicial inquiry in the mishap and the guilty railway officials should be given strict punishment.”While demanding action against railway officials, Athawale ridiculed opposition parties stance of opposing the Bullet Train. “Their stance of not having Bullet Train in the country is not right. While the improvement is needed in the infrastructure of local train, there is also a need of Bullet Train.”Being a part of National Democratic alliance (NDA) when Athawale was asked about the likelihood of Narayan Rane’s new party allying with NDA, he said, “Narayan Rane’s party will definitely be a part of NDA and the ally will make NDA even stronger.”

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Instead of sitting at home and consuming country liquor, Dalits should join the Army where they will get rum: Ramdas Athawale