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Congress responds to BJP’s Ambedkar barb

Congress criticised BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani's remark that the grand old party was responsible for the defeat of the Dalit icon and that it was anti-Dalit.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2009 00:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The battle for Dalit votes between the Congress and BJP exacerbated, notwithstanding the Bahujan Samaj Party’s claim to it.

A day after BJP’s L.K. Advani accused the Congress of working for B.R. Ambedkar’s defeat, Sonia Gandhi’s party hit back. “We will urge the BJP leader to read his colleague Arun Shourie’s book Worshipping False Gods which had accused Ambedkar of bring opposed to India’s Independence unless there was a separate provision for the Dalit electorate. Did the BJP and Advani seek a clarification from Shourie for the comments made in the book.” Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi asked.

Alleging Advani’s charge smacked of “cheap politics”, he said: “There are people who are used to shedding crocodile tears for political purposes. They are practising hypocrisy with sincerity.” Singhvi said Ambedkar was associated with the Congress for several decades, had a major role in drafting the Constitution and was a member of a Congress government.

“Before attacking the Congress, Advani should remember that Ambedkar’s karm boomi was in, by and for the Congress,” he said, adding that there could be differences of opinion among the leaders at that time but to cloak it as anti-Ambedkar was to forget history.