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Bharat Ratna for Ambedkar was by compulsion, not from heart: Owaisi

Asaduddin Owaisi took a dig at the Congress and the ruling BJP and claimed the two parties had got elected on the votes of the “deprived” classes but had only meted out injustice to them.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2019 15:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
bharat ratna,ambedkar,owaisi
Owaisi asked Dalits, Muslims and Adivasis to come together and reject national parties in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.(Press Trust of India)

India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna was conferred on Dr B R Ambedkar out of compulsion and not by heart, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi has alleged.

“Tell me out of the total Bharat Ratna awards given how many were Dalit, Adivasi, Muslim, poor, upper caste and Brahmin? Babasaheb (Ambedkar) was given Bharat Ratna, but out of compulsion and not by heart,” Owaisi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

This year the Bharat Ratna has been awarded to former President Pranab Mukherjee, social activist late Nanaji Deshmukh and late music maestro Bhupen Hazarika

Speaking at a rally of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi in Maharashtra’s Kalyan on Sunday, Owaisi said it was time for the “deprived” to hit back rather than continue “suffering” as was the case in the past 70 years. The Vanchit Bhaujan Aghadi is an outfit floated by the AIMIM and the Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM).

Owaisi asked Dalits, Muslims and Adivasis to come together and reject national parties in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He took a dig at the Congress and the ruling BJP and claimed the two parties had got elected on the votes of the “deprived” classes but had only meted out injustice to them.

Watch | ‘How many dalits, muslims given Bharat Ratna?’ asks Asaduddin Owaisi

The AIMIM chief said the country needed a “pehredar” (guard) rather than a “chowkidar” (watchman), a term Prime Minister Narendra Modi often uses to describe himself and his role.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also came in for criticism from Owaisi who called him a “janeudhari” (wearer of the sacred thread).

The Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP said only parties like the one led by Prakash Ambedkar could do justice to the poor and downtrodden and not the Congress or leaders like PM Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

, the AIMIM chief claimed the country’s highest civilian honour had only been bestowed on people from the “upper caste”.

He pointed out that Dalit icon Babasaheb Ambedkar was given the Bharat Ratna as he deserved it and because he was the architect of the Constitution.

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 14:31 IST