Ambedkar Jayanti highlights: BJP ‘hampering’ ideals behind Constitution, says MK Stalin
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a health and wellness centre in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur to mark the launch of Ayushman Bharat Yojana on the 127th birth anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar on Saturday.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said: “Babasaheb was educated and well read. He could have lived a comfortable life in a foreign country if he so desired. He studied abroad but came back to India and dedicated his life to working for adivasis and the Dalits. He wanted to give Dalits their rights.”
The Congress was quick to respond to the PM speech accusing that the BJP was ‘eroding’ the legacy of Baba Saheb Ambedkar and that PM Modi was merely paying him lip service as the BJP and the RSS have an ‘anti-Dalit mindset’.
Here are the highlights:
8.25pm: Unfortunately, various forces in the country are trying to divide the nation for their narrow political gains. Nation means all living creatures of this land, unless you respect each human being, you cannot be called a nationalist, says Naidu.
8.20pm: President Ram Nath Kovind and vice president Venkaiah Naidu launch a book ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar-Vyakti Nahin Sankalp’ at Rashtrapati Bhawan. President said book covers the inspiring life of Dr Ambedkar and also has references how PM Modi had been inspired by the life and message of Dr Ambedkar.
6.53pm: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony in the wake of a clash between two groups in Phagwara, while warning of stringent action against anyone found disturbing law and order in the state.
5.20 pm: While paying homage to BR Ambedkar in Chennai, DMK leader MK Stalin took a swipe at the BJP government at the centre, alleging that the party was hampering Ambedkar’s ideals. Urging party workers to “save” the country from BJP, Stalin said, “The BJP-led Centre steered by prime minister Narendra Modi is working in a way (that is) hampering Ambedkar’s ideals which led to the making of the Constitution.”
4.10pm: The Punjab government suspends mobile internet, SMS and dongle services in Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar following clashes between two groups, ANI reports.
3.15pm: President Ram Nath Kovind paid tributes to BR Ambedkar at the Dalit icon’s birthplace in the Kalipaltan area, where the Madhya Pradesh government has built a memorial. Kovind is the first president to visit Ambedkar’s birthplace in the Mhow cantonment town, which has been rechristened as Ambedkar Nagar in memory of the leader.
2.59pm: The Congress accused the BJP of ‘eroding’ the legacy of Baba Saheb Ambedkar and said that PM Modi was merely paying him lip service as the BJP and the RSS have an ‘anti-Dalit mindset’.
While addressing a press conference, Congress leader Selja charged the prime minister with doing politics over the legacy of the Dalit icon.
2.41pm: Babasaheb has enshrined your rights in the Constitution. It is the government’s responsibility to take care of your rights. You don’t need to take up arms: PM Modi
2.16pm: By treading on old paths, you can never reach new destinations. We are working with new approach for 115 districts of the country including Bijapur: PM Modi
2.12pm: PM Modi says, “If Bijapur can see development in 100 days then why can’t the other districts witness the same? I came here to assure you that with all the development projects now Bijapur district will no longer be known as a backward district.”
2.07pm: I salute the security personnel who are playing an important role in infrastructure development in Chhattisgarh: PM Modi
2.05pm: Modi says, “Centre is committed to the dreams and aspirations of all people I have come here to remove the backward tag attached to Bijapur.”
2.03pm: “If a person from a poor background like me could become PM, it is because of Babasaheb Ambedkar,” says Modi.
1.56pm: Modi says, “Babasaheb was educated and well read. He could have lived a comfortable life in a foreign country if he so desired. He studied abroad but came back to India and dedicated his life to working for adivasis and the Dalits. He wanted to give Dalits their rights.”
1.52pm: PM Modi asks the crowd to chant ‘Jai Bhim’. Modi says he’s blessed to be among the people of Bijapur on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti.
1.50pm: PM Modi speaks at Bijapur after inaugurating a health and wellness centre to mark the launch of Ayushman Bharat Yojana.The prime minister also laid foundation stones of various projects of the central and state governments.
1.04pm: Five men, including members of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, were detained when they tried to protest garlanding of Ambedkar’s statue at Sarangpur in Ahmedabad by BJP MP Kirit Solanki. Alleging that BJP is anti-dalit, convener of RDAM and Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani had given call to prevent BJP members from paying tribute to Ambedkar on his birth anniversary.
12.15pm: BJP president Amit Shah paid tribute to Ambedkar at the party office on Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg in Delhi.
12pm: BSP’s Mayawati says, “I want to tell Modi ji and his government that commemorating places related to Babasaheb’s life and inaugurating schemes in his name, will in no way lead to development of Dalits.”
11.55am: A group of Sikhs held a protest against atrocities against minorities and Dalits in India during BR Ambedkar’s birth anniversary celebrations at the UN.
11.50am: Ambedkar’s “tireless efforts” towards ensuring excluded groups were politically and socially empowered made him a “pioneer” in the world and his vision of equality and social justice echo the ambitions of the UN’s 2030 development agenda, UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner said in his keynote address at a special event organised at the UN headquarters by India’s Permanent Mission to the UN.
11.45am: Ruckus at an Ambedkar Jayanti event in Gujarat as MLA Jignesh Mevani’s supporters try to obstruct BJP MPs and members from garlanding Ambedkar’s statue.
11.40am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur. He is scheduled to launch a new health scheme called Ayushman Bharat Yojana at a district health center in Jangala village of Maoist affected Bijapur district.
11.35am: Tension prevailed in Punjab’s Phagwara after a communal clash broke out between a Dalit and a Hindu outfit over renaming of a chowk in a bid to pay tribute to Ambedkar on Friday late night. Read more
11.30am: Meerut, which witnessed widespread protests by Dalits during the nationwide protests on April 2, is on high alert. The security measures taken include blocking of internet services from 9 pm on Friday to 8 pm on Saturday, an official at the district magistrate’s office said. Read more