Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that the Congress should “repent” for “undermining” BR Ambedkar’s legacy for 60 years as he reached out to Dalits.
Addressing a rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Mhow, Modi, who has faced attack from the opposition party for trying to “approporiate” national icons, asked why the successive governments of the Congress did not develop the five places associated with Ambedkar during their tenure.
Listing a number of measures that his government is taking to carry forward the vision of Ambedkar, a Dalit icon, including on maritime projects and the empowerment of weaker sections, Modi said, “for so many years, the vision of Ambedkar was undermined”.
“Some persons are distressed why Modi is doing all this. This is a matter of our dedication and conviction. We believe that social harmony can be achieved only by following the path shown by Baba Saheb. I feel proud to work at the feet of Baba Saheb.”
Referring to his humble origins, Modi said that if the son of a woman, who used to fetch water in others’ houses could become Prime Minister, the credit for it goes to Ambedkar.
On his government’s decision to construct a memorial at 26 Alipur Road in Delhi, which was the last home of Ambedkar, the Prime Minister asked the Congress why did it not do so in the last six decades.
“Why did you not do it in the last 60 years? When we are doing it, you are getting uneasy. You should repent over why you did not do this all these years,” the Prime Minister said stepping up his offensive against the Congress.
“Those engaged in vote bank politics thought of nothing else than dividing the society,” he said.
Making a pro-poor pitch, the Prime Minister accused the Congress of doing nothing on this count.
“Some people have been calling themselves the messiah of the poor for the last six decades. The account of what they have done for the poor in last 60 years is shocking even as they keep talking of the poor day and night,” Modi said.
He highlighted the steps taken by his government in the last two years like giving LPG connection to the poor and Jan Dhan Yojana.
Modi, whose government has often been accused by Congress of having a corporate bias, stressed that India’s development won’t happen through five or 50 cities and industrialists and foundation of villages will have to be strengthened for sustainable development and reiterated his committment to double the farmers income by 2022.