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Updated: April 15, 2011 00:05 IST

It's unfortunate Manmohan did not vote: Modi

Manas Dasgupta
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Narendra Modi
The Hindu Narendra Modi

It is most unfortunate that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not cast his vote in Assam during the Assembly elections, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said here on Thursday.

After garlanding the statue of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in the Assembly precincts here on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the architect of the Constitution, the Chief Minister said the Constitution gave the people the right to vote and it was the duty of every citizen to exercise that right.

“There can be nothing more unfortunate to learn that the Prime Minister himself did not cast his vote. It may send a wrong message to the youths of the country,” he said.

Dr. Singh, a member of the Rajya Sabha from Assam, is registered as a voter in the Dispur Assembly constituency.

Mr. Modi said Dr. Ambedkar's birth anniversary was celebrated not just as a festival of light by Dalits but also by all those who believed in the Constitution. “He is a symbol of hope for all oppressed and downtrodden all over the world.”

The Chief Minister reiterated his government's commitment towards all-round growth of the have-nots and serve the Dalits on the path shown by Dr Ambedkar.

Meanwhile, the Rajkot police burst teargas shells and resorted to a lathi charge as about 250 Dalit youths, enraged over the desecration of a statue of Dr. Ambedkar, tried to block the traffic. They also set ablaze some vehicles and stoned the fire brigade engines and personnel. About 50 youths were arrested. The police brought the situation under control after the Police Commissioner ordered an enquiry into the desecration.

Amid the development, Pradesh Congress president Arjun Modhvadia has urged the non-government and human rights organisations to meet social activist Anna Hazare, and “inform him about the reality prevailing in Gujarat that the Modi government is the most corrupt government in the country.”

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