War of Words on Legacy and Work of Bhimrao Ambedkar Breaks out Between the PM and Rahul

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New Delhi:  A war of words on the legacy and work of Bhimrao Ambedkar broke out coinciding with the birth anniversary of the late leader who is considered the architect of the Indian Constitution.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of insulting Ambedkar and not giving him his due even as Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in a veiled dig at the Centre, said those who weaken the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity are doing a disservice to Ambedkar’s memory.

At an election rally in Aligarh, Modi spoke at length about the contribution of Ambedkar, India’s first law and justice minister who campaigned against discrimination against Dalits and untouchability.

Because of Ambedkar, a person from scheduled caste has become President (Ram Nath Kovind) and another from a farmer’s family has become the Vice-President (Venkaiah Naidu), Modi said. Thanks to Babasaheb’s Constitution, a “chaiwala’ (tea-seller)” is holding the PM’s post, Modi said, referring to himself. “We should not forget what was done to Babasaheb…The social circumstances in which Babasaheb attained such great heights, were extraordinary and unprecedented. This is a reason why the Congress could not tolerate Babasheb,” the Prime Minister said, referring the term the late leader’s supporters use to describe him.

On Twitter, Gandhi, too, paid tributes to Ambedkar and said, “On Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s jayanti, let us re-dedicate ourselves to the 4 universal values of JUSTICE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY & FRATERNITY enshrined in our Constitution. Those who pay him tributes on this day, while insidiously weakening these values, do his memory disservice.”

His sister and Congress general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, alleged there were attempts to destroy the Constitution. At a road show in Assam’s Silchar, Priyanka Gandhi said the Constitution was not being respected today.

“It is ‘Mahapurush (great man)’ Ambedkarji’s birth anniversary. He laid the foundation of this country through the Constitution. Today, you are seeing that the Constitution is not respected and an attempt is being made to destroy it,” she said.

In New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma asked Modi to give an account of his five-year rule to the people of the country as a tribute to Ambedkar. “The PM is trying to control and change the narrative because he has no courage to face real issues,” he alleged.

 

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