Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said centralisation of power strengthened casteism and decentralization of power weakened it.
He was addressing the launch of a year-long celebration of 125th birth anniversary of the Dalit icon Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar, who was born in Mhow,situated 20 kilometres from Indore. In his 14-minute speech, he said the already breaking wall of casteism would collapse gradually for which the Congress party and all countrymen would have to struggle continuously.
"We all have a collective responsibility to achieve this," he remarked.
Stating that casteism was deep-rooted in the country and the people were denied jobs because they belonged to a particular caste. He said this in reference to a recent ban on the students at the IIT-Chennai and added that the group was targeted just because it was the follower of Ambedkar.
He appealed to the youth not to remain silent against casteism and help realise Ambedkar's dream of abolishing the caste system. Lauding the role of Ambedkar in nation building, Gandhi said that Baba Saheb not only worked for the uplift of Dalits but also for women's right and formation of the RBI.
"It is because of him that the people from downtrodden sections are now getting representation from Panchayat to Parliament," he said. Those present at the function included senior party leaders Digvijaya Singh, P Chaidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Mallaikarjun Kharge, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Raj Babbar.Chindwara MP Kamal Nath was conspicous by his absence.
BJP lashes out at Rahul’s remark
Bharatiya Janata Party leader and state urban administration minister Kailash Vijayvargiya criticised Rahul Gandhi’s remark that centralisation of power strengthened casteism and said that the Gandhi family was only a living example of the same.He said the Congress party was run by the members of Nehru-Gandhi family. He said that though the Congress had been raising the slogans on poverty alleviation, 80 crore Indians still lived below the poverty line though Congress had ruled the country for last 60 years.