No scrapping of quota, says Modi

Arguing that the BJP had done more to preserve the legacy of Dr B.R. Ambedkar than its political rivals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, ruled out scrapping of reservation system and attacked BJP’s political opponents for spreading malicious propaganda that reservations could end if BJP is voted to power.

Mr. Modi’s remark comes a day before 49 Assembly segments in Bihar will go to polls on Monday in the first of the five-phased State elections, and rivals JD(U) and the RJD Dal have made reservations for backward classes a poll issue. “Jo bhi Ambedkar ne diya usko koi rok nahi sakta (Whatever Ambedkar has given us, and no one can take it away),” Mr. Modi said .

He was speaking at a public rally at MMRDA grounds after laying the foundation stones for two new Mumbai metro projects that will decongest western suburbs.

The BJP leader, who paid homage to Dr. Ambedkar at Chaityabhoomi, and laid the foundation stone of Dr Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills in Dadar, devoted a considerable part of the speech to Dr Ambedkar. Describing him as “Mahapurush”, Mr. Modi said the social reformer faced a life of hardship and constant struggle, but harboured no bitterness or sought revenge when he wrote the Constitution.

“If Babasaheb Ambedkar wasn't there, where would Modi be? Where would ordinary people like us be without Dr Ambedkar?” he said describing BJP’s recent initiatives to invoke Dr Ambedkar’s legacy as an attempt to pay back with gratitude.

Mr. Modi announced that November 26, the day the Constitution came into force, would be celebrated in a big way as the Samvidhan Divas in all schools across the country. “If we call Ambedkar as belonging to Dalits in the absence of a long term vision, it will be a great injustice to him. He belonged to everyone,” he said.

Mr. Modi said his government had planned to develop and preserve five landmarks in Dr Ambedkar’s life, referring to them as “Panchteerth”.

Apart from Indu Mill memorial, he named Dr Ambedkar’s birthplace in Mau, Madhya Pradesh, his Alipur Road residence in New Delhi, his parents’village in coastal Maharashtra, and his London house where he stayed during his stint at the London School of Economics now purchased by the Maharashtra government.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also announced that his government would scrap the criminal cases lodged against Ambedkarite groups who staged several agitations demanding the memorial at Indu Mill.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 11:14:13 PM |

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