Hitting back at the Congress which has accused him of trying to “appropriate” the legacy of national icons, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the party that ruled the country for decades should “repent” for “undermining” the legacy of the architect of the Constitution.
Addressing a rally on the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar at his birthplace here, Modi asked why Congress was getting perturbed when his government was working ardently for fulfilling the vision of the dalit icon and said he would have felt proud to work at “the feet of Baba Saheb”.
Modi, who had faced attack from Congress for trying to “approporiate” national icons, asked why the successive Congress governments did not develop the five places “panch teerth” associated with Ambedkar during their tenure.
The Prime Minister, who chose the occasion to launch the ‘Gram Uday se Bharat Uday Abhiyan’ (village self governance campaign), said it was inspired by Amdedkar, who was a farsighted votary of social harmony and modern technology.
Listing a number of measures that his government is taking to carry forward the vision of Ambedkar including those for empowering the weaker sections, Modi said, “For so many years, the vision of Ambedkar was undermined.”
“Some people 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 once again to his humble origins, Modi said 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, he 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.
Seeking to blunt BJP’s efforts to ‘appropriate’ the legacy of Ambedkar, Congress president Sonia said at a rally in Nagpur earlier this week that “Congress had given Dr Ambedkar his due by appointing him as chairman of the Drafting Committee of Constitution”.
Tearing into the BJP and its ideological mentor RSS, she said “The right-wing outfit is bent upon destroying the democratic values, disturb secular fabric and alter Indian Constitution authored by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.”