Ahmedabad/Lucknow, Apr 14 (PTI) : Political parties crossed swords over B R Ambedkar and his legacy in the fight for dalit vote on his 123rd birth anniversary today with Narendra Modi accusing the Nehru-Gandhi family of “insulting” him by taking credit for his work in empowering marginalised communities.
BSP supremo and Dalit leader Mayawati used the occasion to slam the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, accusing him of indulging in politics of lies by claiming that his party gave proper respect for dalite and for taking credit for Ambedkar getting Bharat Ratna.
During his poll rallies in Lakhimpur Kheri in UP and Sikar in Rajasthan, Modi targeted the Nehru-Gandhi family for seeking to pocket the credit for empowering Dalits and accused it of stopping implementation of rights given by Ambedkar.
After paying homage to Ambedkar in Ahmedabad, Modi alleged that Rahul Gandhi was “insulting” and “humiliating” Ambedkar, who was a messiah to the downtrodden.
“It is unfortunate that these days Congress party’s ‘shehzaade’ (Rahul Gandhi), I don’t know why, enjoys humiliating Baba Saheb Ambedkar by repeatedly saying that Congress has given this right or that right. All the rights and laws have been given to us by Ambedkar,” he said.
“If someone claims that he has given any right or law for the country, then he is insulting Ambedkar. Those who do not know the Constitution, they are today taking credit for these things due to political reasons,” he said.
Modi also said it is unfortunate that the Gandhi family has stopped the implementation of rights given by Ambedkar.
He said the successive Congress governments did “maximum insult” to the chief architect of the Indian Constitution and did not give him Bharat Ratna which was given by the NDA government soon after it came to power.
“If Ambedkar had not given us rights, then a man from extremely backward caste like me would not have stood here before you… Shehzade (Rahul) is insulting him day in and out. He keeps telling people that I give you these rights, those Acts…
If the government of Madam Sonia had given us all rights enshrined in the Constitution, then citizens of the country would not have come to this situation,” he told a poll rally in Sikar.
Mayawati attacked BJP leaders saying when polls come they see Dalits as Hindus but later they do not even like to sit with them, and that the party was not happy when Ambedkar got Bharat Ratna.
“BJP had not liked it then — Bharat Ratna to Ambedkar, “Mayawati said, adding that Modi was moving about making “false” claims on the issue.
Mayawati also said that it was due to BSP’s pressure that Ambedkar was posthumously honoured with Bharat Ratna in 1990 when VP Singh was the prime minister.